BMW Brings Back an Old Fetish, Covers One-Off XM in Velvet

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Just when you thought the XM couldn’t be even more striking–not necessarily for the right reasons–here comes this unique contraption. BMW teamed up with Naomi Campbell to create a polarizing version of the flagship M model. Why purple? That’s the supermodel’s favorite color. The company’s chief designer Domagoj Dukec took to Instagram to share images of the wild-looking performance SUV.

Dubbed Mystique Allure, the one-of-a-kind XM makes its public debut this week at the Cannes Film Festival. It’s partially covered in actual velvet, so for BMW’s sake, let’s just hope it doesn’t rain these days on the French Riviera. The soft fabric has also been generously used on the inside. As if the electrified SUV wasn’t polarizing enough, it also has hundreds (if not thousands) of what seem to be sequins plastered all over the body and in the cabin.

This isn’t the first time BMW has used fabric on a car’s body. Back in 2008, the Gina Light Visionary Model had a durable fabric material covering a metal structure. That concept was arguably more interesting than the XM since it had a shape-shifting body with a stretchable textile that masked the ungainly panel gaps.

Pictured at the bottom, the roofless two-seater sports car born during the Bangle era was based on the Z8 and had a flexible fabric surface. It used butterfly doors and a rear spoiler that could change its size. Hydraulic and electric actuators mounted on the aluminum wire structure beneath the skin enabled the Gina to effectively change its shape.

The German luxury brand has developed somewhat of a habit of doing things differently with a car’s body. In 2019, it unveiled a super-dark X6 featuring Vantablack VBx2 coating that could absorb more than 99 percent of light. Later in 2022, the iX Flow got E Ink tech with millions of microcapsules as thick as human hair that could display shades of gray. A year later, the i Vision Dee concept used an evolution of E Ink with 32 selectable colors across 240 segments of the vehicle’s body.

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