From the early 1980s to the mid-1990s, the BMW M5 was a straight-six affair. Throughout the late 90s and early 2000s, the German super-sedan switched to an N/A V8, which was followed by an even crazier atmospheric V10 for the final half of the ’00s. Starting in 2011, the Autobahn blitzer got a twin-turbo V8, a configuration that still powers the current car. So, what’s next? Well, the future BMW M5 will be a hybrid, albeit while expected to retain its eight-cylinder form. And, thanks to a prototype that was recently spotted lapping the Nurburgring, we can now listen to the machine.
Based on how BMW handled the 5-Series and the M5 over the more recent iterations, the next generation of the 5er should arrive in 2023 for the 2024 model year, with the M5 range-topper being introduced within the first nine months or so.
This means test vehicles of the next M5 are currently in their advanced development stages and one of these was caught on camera while lapping the Ring in late February, while also being photographed on the roads outside the toll route that is the infamous German circuit.
There’s plenty of good news in the design department
This prototype conceals the final design under heavy camo, albeit while still not packing the production light clusters.
However, we can notice that the trunk area seems a bit more compact compared to the current car, with this part of the silhouette being slightly more aggressive. And it seems that the opinion-splitting, super-sized kidney grille design won’t make it to the next M5.
Obvious M traits include the super-sized brakes, as well as the quadruple exhaust tips, which are still an M-exclusive trait, even though the M Performance range is also getting them starting 2023.
The tech side of the 2024 BMW M5
The media, which comes from the Nuerburgring_Impressionen Instagram page, shows the seventh-generation BMW M5 tester sporting yellow stickers that confirm its hybrid nature, along with the “hybrid test vehicle” label on the driver’s door. And the soundtrack of the prototype, which is quite enticing, seems to confirm our expectations for a turbocharged V8 with electric assistance.
While there’s no official info on the powertrain of the future super-sedan, we could see the M5 borrowing the tech setup of the going-into-production BMW XM concept.
The first car to be completely developed by BMW’s Motorsport division following the M1 supercar of the late 1970s, this SUV mixes a twin-turbo V8 with an electric motor to deliver 750 hp and 737 lb-ft (1,000 Nm ) of torque. And, thanks to its plug-in hybrid arrangement, the vehicle has an EV-only range of about 30 miles (50 km).
The outgoing M5 already allows the driver to easily switch between AWD and RWD and its successor should maintain this feature, which even helped the present car set a silly yet entertaining drifting world record.
Full electrification fans need not worry, though, as the Bavarian automaker is also preparing a non-combustion model. Dubbed i5, the EV should be introduced next year, coming alongside the standard 5 Series.