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Sunday, January 29, 2023

Next-generation BMW M5 to get hybrid power

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 saloon that will arrive a year later. 

The next BMW M5 will adopt a hybrid powertrain from the forthcoming XM super-SUV, which is rumoured to develop 737bhp. 

This Auto Express exclusive render shows what the next-generation BMW M5 could look like. The next 5 Series has front grilles that are larger than those on the current car, even if it has stopped short of adopting the giant nostril-style grilles of the M3 and M4

Our render shows that the new M5 will look more aggressive than ever; the front end will feature laser light headlights, plus a more sculpted front bumper and bonnet. It shares a similar front wing design to the new 2 Series, giving the M5 badge a prominent position on the wings.

At the back, our images show a more sloped rear end than the current M5’s, following the same trend as the 2 Series and i4.

As ever, the new M5 will use a wider track than the regular 5 Series for improved handling, hence the wheelarch extensions of this test mule. The side sills will also be beefed up for a sportier stance. 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.

New BMW M5 power and performance

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 737bhp, and a torque output of around 1,000Nm. The hybrid system will also 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. 

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.

Find out what happened when we pitched the BMW M3 against the Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifogliohere…

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