BMW M CEO Frank van Meel has confirmed what we've suspected for some time now.
BMW M division CEO Frank van Meel has confirmed that the next-generation M5 - due for a 2024 release - will get a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) powertrain with a V8 powerhouse. Van Meel added that this propulsion system is derived from the one currently used on the XM and will also make its way to power the upcoming M5 Touring.
A BMW insider previously discussed this powertrain choice for the M5, but this is the first time the BMW M boss has said anything definitive about the future Bimmer's powertrain. Van Meel's confirmation, done via an interview with the Australian website CarExpert, also quashes speculations that the upcoming M5 models are getting downsized engines.
"We never do drive changes for just one car," van Meel told CarExpert when asked if the XM's hybrid powertrain will make its way to other M cars.
"So for us, it was also let's say the innovative new drivetrain concept for M, so that's something we're going to see in other cars as well. And I think it's an open secret that you will find that in the upcoming new M5 next year," he continued.
For reference, the XM uses a 4.4-liter twin-turbocharged V8 PHEV generating 644 horsepower and 590 lb-ft of torque. The most potent version goes to the XM Label, which makes up to 738 hp and 738 lb-ft torque. It's not far-fetched to think the M5 will get the latter tune.
The decision to retain the V8 contrasts the Mercedes-AMG route of combining beefier electronic components with smaller internal combustion components. One example of this is the upcoming Mercedes-AMG CLE 63, which has ditched its old V8 in favor of an inline-4 hybrid engine.
"That's not the way we see it because we want to have a strong base engine anyway. So, for us, going to smaller combustion engines in combination with bigger batteries would not be the right way," van Meel said about downsizing.
For that matter, BMW M is committed to staying away from downsizing the powertrains for its roster of rides. "So we try to stick with those (inline-6 and V8 engines) as long as possible, including the hybrid drivetrains, and then we will change to electric drive, it's quite simple," van Meel said.
With the old M5 no longer listed on BMW USA's website, it's only a matter of time before the all-new M5 G90's stateside launch. As mentioned, both will be coming out for the 2024 model year. The best part is that the M5 Touring was also confirmed to hit US shores.