Come 2023, there should be a new generation of the BMW 5 Series hitting the streets — which of course means we'll be getting a new generation of the iconic M5. Autocar has some reporting about what that new car may look like. According to the report, the new M5 will still offer a truly bonkers amount of power....but how it makes that power may be an even bigger departure from tradition than the current generation, which moved from rear- to all-wheel-drive and ditched the manual transmission.
The new 5 Series will allegedly use BMW's CLAR architecture. It's a transition platform before BMW converts to dedicated EV platforms in 2025, designed to give BMW maximum flexibility and the ability to produce combustion, hybrid and full-electric versions of the same car. (Though it hamstrings design a bit, as forcing EVs and combustion vehicles to use the same architecture makes it hard to take full advantage of the benefits of the former.)
Per Autocar, we can expect the new M5 to be a plug-in hybrid, employing the same powertrain as the upcoming X8 M. This would mean a twin-turbo V8 as the base engine with a 200 horsepower electric motor jacking up the power to 750 hp, which should help account for the extra weight. (That would be a different approach from Mercedes, which looks set to downsize its V8 engines, at least for a little while.) Targeted performance for the new M5 would be a sub-3.0 second 0-60 mph time and a top speed above 200 mph.
Incredibly, that M5 may not be the top-of-the-line model. The CLAR architecture can accommodate up to three electric motors, and Autocar suspects BMW could offer a tri-motor version of the all-electric i5 sedan that could put out 800 hp.
This new M5 would be a long way from the stick shift BMW M5 power sedans of yore. But as with the current model, any lingering purists will pipe down if it ends up being fun to drive.