Conventionally pretty it isn't. Extremely fast it very much is. The BMW XM — still a concept, likely to be seen in production more or less unaltered — is like a cubist Picasso: extremely odd until you get used to its unique perspective. This 750 bhp — more than your average Lamborghini — futuristic SUV is the work of BMW's storied M-Division, renowned for creating uncompromising performance versions of BMW's motor cars. The XM is bespoke to the M-Division in every way and is, as you can see, uncompromising from every angle.

The aggressive front grille is an extreme take on BMW's new design language, which seems to take its cue not only from Picasso but from the 'Transformer' movies. It's an aggressive style that is entirely confident in its boldness. There's not much in the way of curves here. The wheels, shod in fetching alloys unique to the XM, remain refreshingly circular. The arches above them are, as if in protest, squared off.

There is significant innovative detailing. Door handles are concealed in the black strip that runs along the side of the XM. Much work appears to have been put into the rear — which is a view that many other motorists may experience given the BMW's power — with distinctive cubist exhaust outlets and a pronounced roof indentation that gives the back of the XM something of a frown.

The dimensions match those of BMW's biggest current SUV, the X7, but there similarities end not least under the bonnet, which is the M-Division's natural habitat. The engine is a plug-in hybrid V8 that, after extensive fettling, now produces that supercar-humbling 750 bhp. Even in a vehicle this vast, that should result in both mind-numbing acceleration and staggering outright performance figures. Hybrid power, meanwhile, should mean owners can use electric power silently to manoeuvre their cubist monster around the most demanding Ultra Low Emissions Zone free of charge. Handy for the Mayfair townhouse.

After the audacious exterior, the interior doesn’t pull its punches either. The dashboard features carbon fibre with copper woven through it. Seating to the front is in plush leather chairs resembling well worn sofas in a gentleman’s club. Passengers in the rear benefit from a quilted bench in petrol-coloured fabric. Eclectic is very much the name of the interior game, and to our eye, it works. Will this other-worldly interior style make production? BMW are still deciding.

Like a BMW XM? No orders are being taken, yet. Reports suggest a 2022 launch is on the cards, so if you are currently mulling over the merits of a Lamborghini Urus or a top-of-the-range Porsche Cayenne and are also a fan of cubism, you may want to wait a while. Pricing is expected to steep, at around £150,000, but then there is that free ULEZ access to consider. Ideal for planet-friendly plutocrats.

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