New BMW M5 Hybrid Spied With Steering Wheel Capacitive Touch Buttons

Spy Shots / 1 Comment

BMW could make the same mistake as Volkswagen.

There's a lot happening with the new BMW M5 right now.

We recently talked with BMW M's boss, Frank van Meel, who said that BMW was considering bringing an M5 Touring Stateside. It matches previous comments regarding BMW's interest in building an M5 wagon.

While we have yet to see such a wagon, we do have spy shots of the next-generation M5, which is apparently going to be a plug-in hybrid.

Now, we've got more shots of the next M5, courtesy of our spies. They snapped the first interior shots, which you can see below. And, well, there appears to be some bad news. We see haptic buttons.

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For those that don't remember, VW tried this for a bit. The Golf GTI, ID.4, and Golf R all have them, and these so-called buttons are terrible across the board.

They were difficult to use, overly sensitive or not sensitive enough, and smudged constantly. Let's hope BMW isn't about to make the same mistake.

Until we know more, we'll leave it at that. Other changes to the interior include iDrive8, which BMW is integrating into all its new models. We sampled it in the X7 and can vouch for its usability, and we anticipate it'll be a solid addition to the BMW M5. The steering wheel is also new, and it has M stitching as per usual.

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We noticed that BMW dropped the gearshift from its center console. Instead, the console is now occupied by a large array of buttons (potentially of a haptic nature) surrounding the iDrive controller. Instead of the more traditional knob, BMW now has an Audi/VW-style switch for gear selection and the obligatory paddles for manual fun.

To the best of our knowledge, this is the production-ready interior of the M5. It'll likely feature new switchgear for the car's now-hybridized powertrain, and iDrive8 in this car should also reflect that. It isn't clear to whether the climate controls are physical.

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Outside, the M5 is reportedly production-ready as well. We can report that this car will keep the famously framed kidney grille. Perhaps the M2 launch taught BMW that its recent takes have been too divisive. The rest of the front and rear of the fascia are traditional BMW, from what we can tell.

We see steel brakes on this car, though we've no doubt carbon ceramics will be an option for the biggest and baddest of M5s.

We don't have a hard date for when BMW's new 5 Series will be ready, but we believe it'll be introduced as a 2024 model.

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