BMW has been spotted testing a prototype for its redesigned M5, which is set to be the first in the nameplate's history to feature electrification.
It's expected to start sales in 2024, or about a year later than the redesigned 5-Series on which it is based. This points to it arriving as a 2025 model.
The prototype may look like one of the testers for the redesigned 5-Series, but there are telltale clues that point to the M5 variant being tested here. These include the quad-exhaust tips, widened wheel arches, pizza tray-sized brake rotors, and multiple intakes in the front fascia.
We're likely still at an early stage of testing as evidenced by the makeshift nature of the wheel arches. Expect more advanced prototypes to have a cleaner design. Interestingly, the prototype is advanced enough to spot the dip in the hood leading back from the center of the grille, a design first seen on the M3/M4 duo.
A shot of the interior reveals a thick-rimmed steering wheel and floating screens for the instrument cluster and infotainment, a design first featured in the iX and slowly making its way into more BMWs.
There's also no missing the “Hybrid Test Vehicle” stickers that confirm an electrified powertrain. A likely bet is the electrified V-8 powertrain previewed in BMW's recent Concept XM and destined to appear in a production XM later this year.
The Concept XM's powertrain was a plug-in hybrid setup integrating a newly developed twin-turbocharged V-8 as its internal-combustion component, with the peak output claimed to be 750 hp and 737 lb-ft of torque. Expect similar numbers for the production XM and this M5. The current M5 tops out with 627 hp in CS guise.
We've heard that the redesigned M5 will also be the first in the nameplate's history with the choice of a second powertrain, specifically a battery-electric setup. This powertrain is reportedly coming with a three-motor setup good for more than 1,000 hp, which should help the M5 keep up with electric super sedans like the Tesla Model S Plaid and Lucid Air Dream Edition Performance. Should an electric M5 be launched, it isn't clear whether it will arrive alongside the hybrid. An electric version of the redesigned 5-Series is confirmed to be coming. It will be called an i5, and prototypes are already out testing.