Our spy photographers have grabbed new pictures of the upcoming replacement for the BMW M5 – and the images give a clearer hint of what the German brand has in store for its most powerful 5 Series to date.
We expect BMW’s next-generation M5 will be powered by the same V8 dual electric motor plug-in hybrid powertrain that’s destined for the XM SUV. The super sedan will make its debut in 2024, a year after the standard eighth-generation 5 Series hits the showrooms.
For the XM SUV, the PHEV system is rumoured to produce 550kW – but it’s possible that BMW’s engineers could push that even further for the M5, given its prominent placement in the company’s “M” car range. An output of 560kW and 1000Nm is plausible.
This early M5 prototype is still covered in heavy camouflage, but we can still see some key differences between this and the current model’s styling. To start, it’ll have slightly larger kidney grilles – although BMW has stopped short of adopting the enormous nostril-style grille of the latest M3 and M4.
The slimline headlights also mimic the design of those seen on the facelifted X5 SUV, as BMW pulls together the design language of its next-generation and updated model ranges. The car’s surfacing appears smoother, too, likely in the interest of aerodynamics.
As usual, the M5’s track will be wider than the standard 5 Series’ – and you can see that extra width in these spy shots. The broader suspension brings wider wheel arches with it, and the side skirts have been extended to meet the same profile. Note also the charging port behind the front left wheel of the prototype in our gallery.
Like its predecessors, the new M5 will be fitted with a set of quad tailpipes housed within a deeply sculpted rear bumper. The tail lights also appear to be much smaller than before and the brand’s engineers have used riveted panels to shield what looks to be a small lip spoiler.
Our exclusive image (below) gives a better indication of how the next BMW M5 will look. It’ll be more aggressive than ever, with a more sculpted front bumper and bonnet. Those new headlights will also employ laser light technology, and the car’s front wings will share a similar design to those on the new 2 Series, giving the “M5” badge pride of placement.
The M5’s cabin will be all-new, and mostly borrowed from the upcoming replacement for the 5 Series. It’ll feature BMW’s iDrive 8 infotainment system, which combines a 14.9-inch 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.
BMW is expected to use the XM SUV’s hybrid powertrain in the next M5. That system is expected to use the 4.4-litre twin-turbocharged V8 from the current most powerful BMW, the M5 CS, combined with the hybrid components from the X5 xDrive45e PHEV.
In theory, such a system should be capable of producing 560kW and 1000Nm of torque – and the hybrid system will enable electric-only running for the first time in an M5. The X5 xDrive45e can travel 54 miles 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 eight-speed automatic is expected, to cope with the extra torque of the new car.