2024 BMW M5 prototype spied flaunting new wide body
The new BMW M5 is coming into focus, and seems set to debut an M3-style wide body with plug-in hybrid powertrain
BMW M's next generation M5 is now coming into focus, with fresh images revealing more details about the future supersaloon and its plug-in hybrid powertrain. Due to arrive some time after the new-generation 5-series and i5 are revealed next year, the new M5 will most likely make an appearance in 2024, where it'll rival AMG's next-generation E63 S and a future Audi RS6 – both of which are expected to adopt their own plug-in hybrid powertrains.
These new images of the M5 are the most revealing yet, showing off the new model’s near-production bodywork and lighting. It’s clear that this generation of M5 will be the first to feature a wider side pressing in the style of the current M3 saloon, something that's never been applied to any generation of M5 in the past. This is matched to wider front arches and sills, creating a much more aggressive stance.
Previous prototypes have confirmed the use of a plug-in hybrid system, but following the new BMW XM's debut we now have a much clearer idea about the powertrain’s specifics as the cars will almost certainly share BMW’s plug-in hybrid assisted twin-turbo V8. In the XM, there are two specifications available – an initial 653bhp combined unit and the 741bhp system in the Label Red. We don't know whether BMW M will utilise one or both powertrains in the M5, but with AMG already hitting 670bhp with its four-cylinder C63 S E Performance, we suspect the future E63 to be even more potent, putting BMW M under pressure to compete with its future M5.
This suggests prospective power and torque figures for the next M5 at around the 741bhp mark, with the V8 itself unlikely to significantly raise power over the current M5 Competition’s 616bhp and the plug-in unit then adding another 136bhp or so.
The M5 will almost certainly retain its all-wheel drive system – something that’s become a defining feature of the model in the current generation. Yet what layout this new plug-in hybrid system takes is less clear. All BMWs currently integrate their electric motors into the existing driveline, but with AMG’s new rear-mounted plug-in module opening up further possibilities in regards to packaging and weight distribution, BMW M might have something different in store to keep what will be a heavy car balanced between the axles.
Back to the spy pictures and the rest of the body looks more closely aligned with other future 5-series prototypes we’ve seen, characterised by the more steeply raked rear screen and shorter bootlid in comparison to the relatively upright G30. The front grille does look to be larger and more assertive than on the current model, but seems to have bypassed the controversial new design the incoming 7-series will employ with split headlights and huge kidney openings.
In the wake of other new-generation plug-in hybrid performance cars like BMW’s XM and AMG’s latest C63, we can say that the M5 will be a heavy beast, almost certainly tipping over two tonnes. There are also rumours that this generation of M5 will see the return of a Touring model, but these are still to be verified.
Unfortunately, there’s still quite a wait for us to see the new M5 in full. It will probably join the new 5-series saloon about a year after its reveal, an event which is currently set for mid-2023. If this seems like a long time to wait, it’s worth remembering that M5s often come with a vast amount of calibration work to ensure that all the technology works together in a seamless fashion. AMG’s delayed C63 S E Performance is an example of that process in action, and with a name plate like M5 at stake, BMW M won’t be taking any shortcuts.