The next BMW M5 will be electrified when it arrives in 2024, and could produce nearly 560kW.
The next-generation BMW 5 Series is set to launch in 2023, and as these spy shots reveal, the Bavarian manufacturer has begun development work on the new M5 super sedan which will arrive a year later. The next BMW M5 will adopt a hybrid powertrain, which could be borrowed from the forthcoming XM super-SUV, which is rumoured to develop 550kW.
The pre-production car in these images is heavily camouflaged, but it’s clear that the styling of the new M5 will be a significant departure from the model it replaces. At the front, the kidney grilles have grown, and they’re flanked by a set of much smaller, narrower headlights with laser light technology.
The lower grille arrangement will be wide and aggressive, and BMW has installed what look to be fog lamps beneath the headlight clusters. The bonnet appears to be smooth and uncluttered by vents or scoops, although it’s covered in riveted panels, suggesting that BMW is hiding the true design.
As ever, the new M5 will use a wider track than the regular 5 Series for improved handling, hence the wheel arch extensions of this test mule. The side sills will also be beefed up for a sportier stance, but the surfacing is smooth along the car’s flanks, with minimal body lines and flush-fitting door handles. This development car wears a ‘hybrid test vehicle’ sticker and there’s a charging port behind the front wheels, confirming that the new M5 will be a plug-in hybrid.
As with its forebears, the new M5 is fitted with a set of quad tailpipes housed within a deeply sculpted rear bumper, and the tail light units look to be much smaller than before. BMW has again used riveted panels to shield what looks to be a small lip spoiler.
The new M5 could receive the same hybrid powertrain as the upcoming XM flagship, which is set for release this year. The SUV will probably utilise the 4.4-litre twin-turbocharged V8 from the current most powerful BMW – the M5 CS – combined with a hybrid system from the X5 xDrive45e PHEV. This would provide a total of 550kW, and a torque output of around 1000Nm is expected. The hybrid system will also enable electric-only running for the first time in an M5 – the X5 xDrive45e can travel 87km in EV mode, and the M5 could improve on this figure with lower weight and improved aerodynamics.
The new M5 will continue to be four-wheel drive, with a selection of drive modes to alter the system’s torque delivery. A dual-clutch gearbox is unlikely, with BMW shifting from DCTs to traditional automatics with the current M3, M4 and M5. An uprated version of the current car’s 8-speed automatic is expected, to cope with the extra torque of the new car.
The M5’s cabin will be all-new and borrowed from next year’s 5 Series, featuring BMW’s iDrive 8 infotainment system. This combines a 14.9-inch central touchscreen with a 12.3-inch digital instrument panel beneath a single piece of curved glass, with features such as 5G connectivity and an augmented reality navigation system.
The new M5 is expected to go on sale in 2024, for a premium over the current car due to the hybrid powertrain.