2024 BMW M5 hybrid caught on camera

The next BMW M5 will arrive in 2024 with a plug-in hybrid powertrain derived from the XM SUV

It's no secret that BMW M is heading towards electrification, with the XM SUV marking the biggest step – both literally and figuratively – towards an upcoming series of hybrid-powered performance cars. The next M5 super saloon will follow suit, launching in 2024 with a plug-in hybrid V8 powertrain to rival the Mercedes-AMG E63 and Audi RS6, both of which are set to become PHEVs in future iterations.

These latest spy shots provide our clearest look yet at the new M5, which is undergoing development with near-production bodywork. As a first for an M5, the next-generation model will adopt swollen wheel arches at the front and rear to cover wider tracks, where the current F90 uses a small plastic flange extensions – a much cheaper solution. These combine with beefier sills for a muscular, broad-shouldered stance, which should clearly distinguish the M5 from lesser 5-series' when the covers come off.

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. With a name plate like M5 at stake, BMW M won’t be taking any shortcuts. 

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