Preparations For BMW's First Hybrid M5 Have Begun

Spy Shots / Comments

Before you complain, electrification could make this more powerful than the M5 CS...

It's BMW M's 50th anniversary year, and we're expecting the skunkworks division to throw a huge party as it celebrates half a century of making Bimmers better. In its time with us, we've been treated to a number of amazing machines, from the outstanding M5 CS to the upcoming M3 Touring. Speaking of new models, the aforementioned M5 CS was something of a send-off for the F90 generation, although it is possible that one more special edition could be made. Regardless of the M Division's plans for the current BMW M5, it needs to look ahead to the future, and as we must begrudgingly accept, the future is electrified.

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Our spy photographers have caught BMW testing the next-generation M5 in the cold conditions of Sweden, and their images reveal "Hybrid Test Vehicle" decals that confirm the end of the unelectrified M5. As you can see, we are still a very long way from being able to glean any styling influences or details as the test mules you see here are still wearing very basic headlight and taillight clusters as part of the brand's efforts to disguise what vehicle this is. Despite that and the crazy camouflage, tell-tale signs that this is the hardcore 5 Series are evident in the drilled brake rotors and the quad-exit exhaust.

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We can also see that the large kidney grilles, although very prominent, will not be going vertical as on the current M3 and M4, nor will they become so humungous that they're all you can focus on. Still, they're not exactly going to be small. In time, we'll get to see the production body, which should do away with fender flares but retain an increased footprint over the standard 5 Series. As for performance, very little has been said about the next M5 yet, but our sources suggest that the BMW XM could donate its 750-horsepower twin-turbo V8 hybrid system. If that turns out to be true, Mercedes-AMG and Audi RS will be working frantically to outdo the Bavarians. The new M5 is expected to debut next year as a 2024 model.

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