We are months away from getting acquainted with the eighth-generation BMW 5 Series Saloon and its fully electric i5 sibling. M Performance versions, likely an M560e plug-in hybrid and an electric i5 M60, will be unveiled this year, but the full-fat M is unlikely to debut until later in 2024. In the meantime, the M division was spotted at and around the Nürburgring testing a camouflaged prototype that appeared to have the entire production body.
From the M-specific side mirror design and quad exhaust tips to the wide hips and aggressive front bumper design, it's easy to tell we're dealing with the range-topping 5 Series. The "Electrified Vehicle" stickers remind us the new M5 (codenamed G90) will have a plug-in hybrid powertrain. It'll utilise an adaptation of the PHEV setup introduced on the XM, but with a bit more power.
2024 BMW M5 new interior, exterior spy photos
While the standard XM makes 644 bhp, the next-gen M5 is expected to offer somewhere in the region of 700 bhp. It should split the difference between base XM and the upcoming XM Label Red with its mighty 738-bhp output. Rumour has it the super saloon will be the only version of the overhauled 5 Series to retain the V8 engine as the M550i is going away.
At the heart of the new M5 will be BMW's "S68" engine, a twin-turbo 4.4-litre V8 already in use in several other cars beyond the XM. We’re talking about the X5/X6 M60i, X5/X6 M Competition, X7 M60i, and the 760i. Adding an electric motor, a lithium-ion battery, and the other PHEV-related hardware will bring a weight penalty. We are not expecting the M5 to be as heavy as the 2,700+ kilogram (6,000+ pound) XM, but it'll definitely put on some weight compared to the outgoing model, which tips the scales at over 1,950 kg (4,300 lbs).
While enthusiasts will scoff at the idea of an M5 with a charging port, they will however appreciate the return of the Touring. BMW M boss Frank van Meel has already said we should keep our eyes peeled for an M5 estate at the Nürburgring. The third long-roof M5 after the ultra-rare E34 and the V10-powered E61 is believed to have the G99 internal codename. It should follow the saloon shortly, with both potentially coming for the 2025 model year.
We've seen our fair share of spy shots depicting both the regular 5 Series and the M5 and these have given us the impression BMW is planning an evolutionary design. Thankfully, there won't be an exaggerated kidney grille or split headlights. Inside, the iDrive 8.5 will revamp the dashboard with a pair of screens and minimal conventional buttons since most functions will be accessed from the touchscreen.
We will get a better understanding of the M5 when the standard 5 Series premieres later this year.
Source: Automotive Mike / YouTube