BMW won't let the XM's powertrain be a one-car engine. The only question is, how much power will it have?
CarBuzz recently spoke with an insider close to BMW's product development cycle, who gave us an interesting hint at what might power the next-generation M5 Sedan. Rumors have begun to circulate that the G90 M5 will borrow the hybrid drivetrain from the XM, and based on our dinner conversation, there is truth to this claim.
"BMW doesn't build powertrains that just go into one vehicle," our source said, referring to the 4.4-liter twin-turbo V8 and plug-in hybrid system used in the 2023 BMW XM. "It could be used in vehicles that are coming to market very soon." That's a pretty strong hint towards the 5 Series, specifically the M5, but it also opens the the door for even more hybrid M cars in the future.
This near-confirmation shouldn't come as much surprise because M5 test mules have already been spotted wearing the mandatory "Electrified Vehicle" sticker. The question still remains of how much power this particular iteration of the PHEV system will produce. In the base XM, the V8 engine and electric motor combine to deliver 644 horsepower and 590 lb-ft. That is already more potent than the outgoing M5 CS, which produces 627 hp from its twin-turbo V8, but we wonder if the base 644-hp tune will be potent enough to offset the weight gain from the batteries. From a power-to-weight perspective, 644 hp simply won't be enough to endow the M5 with performance that moves the game forward.
We feel safe assuming that the next-generation M5 could debut with more than 644 hp, then eventually introduce a hotter Competition or CS version with the 738-hp tune from the XM Label Red, the most powerful M car ever produced.
M5 development is well underway, and our source, who has driven a prototype of the G90 M5, says it's "like a rocket ship."
When speaking of the potential of the XM's powertrain for other applications, we were told to "just imagine what [the Label Red drivetrain] would feel like in a smaller package."
Having driven the base XM recently on a First Drive event, we can piece together what a hybridized M5 might be like. Though the XM is technically slower to 60 mph than the X5 M and X6 M on paper, it didn't seem like it in the real world. Perhaps BMW, as usual, underrated the performance capability of its PHEV system.
The G60 5 Series will debut later this year, but the M5 likely won't arrive until 2024 based on BMW's typical product cycle.
Whatever state of tune the M5's plug-in hybrid system arrives in, we can be sure BMW M won't rest on its laurels in providing a next-level performance sedan. And with a wagon variant under consideration for the US, we're looking forward to what comes next.
Join The Discussion