The BMW M5 has a clear mission: to look like a boring midsize banker’s sedan, but be an absolute missile that can accelerate from 0-60 in around three seconds and hit a top speed approaching 200 mph. And it’s a mission at which it excels.
The current sixth-generation M5 bucked tradition, eliminating the manual transmission and abandoning its classic rear-wheel drive layout for all-wheel-drive. Enthusiasts eventually withdrew their knives, mainly because it didn’t suck. But BMW may be planning even bolder changes for the next model, which should be just around the corner.
Per Autocar, the next BMW M5 will receive a version of the PHEV system in the new XM crossover. It will be a twin-turbo 4.4-liter V8 with an auxiliary electric motor. Total output may be in the neighborhood of 790 horsepower and more than 737 lb-ft of torque. It will have an eight-speed automatic and all-wheel drive, with a rear power bias in the sportier settings.
Autocar says the M5 PHEV will have some token EV-only range. But as with the higher-end Mercedes applications, the M5’s batteries will focus on rapid discharges for performance rather than maximum range.
As hard as it may be to picture the PHEV M5 as a base model, that may be the case. A report from the British outlet CAR says that BMW will launch an all-electric M5 above the combustion M5. The EV M5 would pack a tri-motor system — two rear, one front — that could produce 1,000 hp. The EV would reportedly have a 0-60 time of fewer than three seconds and have a range approaching 400 miles.
A leak on BimmerPost suggested that BMW may build an M5 Touring wagon for the seventh generation. It would be the third time BMW has produced an M5 Touring since it first launched in 1984 and the first time since the V10 E61 M5 left production in 2010.
BMW kept the M3 Touring from the American market. But an M5 Touring could make sense to bring stateside. The only segment of the American car market that loves wagons is German car enthusiasts willing to pay well north of $100,000 for a rocket-powered practical car like the M5. And both the M5’s primary rivals, the Mercedes-AMG E 63 and the Audi RS6, offer wagon variants to U.S. customers.
The current generation M5 entered production back in 2017. Multiple reports expect the new model to enter production sometime in 2024. The purported leak on Bimmerpost has the sedan entering production in July 2024, followed by the wagon in November. That could mean a reveal in late 2023 or early 2024.