Update: ‘Design’ section updated with a render.
When BMW released the mid-life facelift (or the ‘LCI’ in BMW lingo) of the M5 in June 2020, we assumed it would have started development of the next-generation M5 super-saloon. Speaking to Drive – Der Playboy Mobility-Guide last year, Markus Flasch, former CEO, BMW M, confirmed that the next-gen BMW M5 will be available as a hybrid electric car.
There’ll be high-performance hybrid vehicles, when we’re talking about long-distance performance – like for the successor to the M5 or large X automobiles.Markus Flasch, CEO, BMW M (Drive – Der Playboy Mobility-Guide issue 01) in 2021
To arrive in 2024 with a V8 Hybrid
A report from Autocar suggests the use of a single electric motor along with a (4.4-litre twin-turbo) V8 engine in the next-gen M5’s plug-in hybrid system. The electric motor reported by Autocar will be a rear-mounted unit providing an additional 200 hp and more than 220 lb-ft of extra torque. In total, expect the power output of the next-gen BMW M5 at around 750 hp, and the torque at nearly 737 lb-ft (1,000 Nm).
Early prototypes store energy in a 12 kWh (354 V, 34 Ah) battery pack installed below the rear seat bench, leaving the luggage compartment volume almost unaffected. The production version could get a new, BMW M-developed battery pack possessing ultra-rapid discharge properties, and that could offer better e-performance. Like the current vehicle, the all-new M5 will have an 8-speed automatic transmission and an all-wheel drive system.
On the new BMW M550i
In addition to the M5, the M550i may also adopt a plug-in hybrid system. According to a report from Autocar, the next-gen M550i may get a plug-in hybrid powertrain consisting of a 3.0-litre straight six-cylinder gasoline engine and an electric motor mounted on the gearbox. Although CLAR platform-based plug-in hybrid cars can have an electric motor with up to 201 bhp, this motor’s power output could be curtailed to 107 bhp. The combined power and combined torque of the 2022 M550i could be 388 hp and 442 Lb.-Ft. (600 Nm), respectively.
Design & Interior
Spy pictures suggest that BMW M would distinguish the next-gen M5 from the next-gen BMW 5 Series with familiar modifications. A unique grille, air intake, and bumper designs that offer cooling/aerodynamic enhancements, in addition to a more aggressive styling, widened front and rear tracks for better handling and exclusive wheels are on the menu. Inside, variant-specific sports seats, special welcome animation in the instrument cluster, red starter button, sports steering wheel with red-painted driver-profile (M1 and M2) buttons, and sports seats with thicker side bolsters for greater lateral support could be among the functional changes.
The above rendering is a work of ElectricVehicleWeb.com reader and auto illustrator Shkelqim Ameti (Instagram: germanysfinest43). Lavished in a colour similar to the M5’s Marina Bay Blue and a contrasting black roof, the rendered car sports many uniquely designed parts that give it an aggressive styling.
At the front, the digitally created next-gen BMW M5 features darkened headlamps, a gloss black kidney grille with double horizontal slats and the BMW M logo, a prominent bumper with vertical side air inlets, and a large lower intake split up into four sections. On the sides, exclusive two-tone alloy wheels and gloss black gills, mirror caps, and window surround provide a racy look. Changes at the rear in the production car could include darkened light clusters, quad exhaust tips, a redesigned bumper with a black diffuser, and a gloss black spoiler.
The next-gen M5 should pack BMW Group’s latest tech features like BMW Curved Display (seamlessly integrated fully digital instrument cluster and central display), BMW iDrive 8.0, BMW Digital Key Plus with Ultra-Wideband technology (Digital Key 3.0), etc. At least Level 2 autonomous driving with hands-free highway driving and hands-free parking functions could also be available in the all-new vehicle.
BMW currently offers the 5 Series in several plug-in hybrid models. For instance, the BMW 530e, 530e xDrive and the 530e Touring versions employ a 135 kW (184 hp) four-cylinder petrol engine and an electric motor that makes 80 kW (109 hp). The 530e versions make a peak torque of 420 Nm and travel up to 67 km (530e) and 58 km (530e xDrive), respectively, in the pure electric mode. We expect the M5 PHEV to offer a similar EV range.
|Next-gen BMW M5 specification||Value|
|Powertrain||V8 engine + electric motor|
|Max Power||750 hp|
|Max Torque||1,000 Nm|
|Price (UK)||GBP 105,000+|
Fully-electric BMW M models from around 2025
Releasing a fully electric BMW i5M model may not be possible at this point because it would need a significantly more advanced battery technology, one that BMW would get access to in 2025 with the Die Neue Klasse cluster architecture. Batteries would have to get lighter for BMW to offer similar dynamic performance. Until then, BMW M will work on PHEVs and fettling variants of existing EVs like the iX M60 and i4 M50.
We will see the first battery-electric M car performance model (referring to the i4 M50) ready later this year. We will see high-performance hybrid variants pretty soon, and we will see high-performance battery electric vehicles in a couple of years.Markus Flasch, former CEO at BMW M Division during a chat on Youtube with BMW Australia in April
Featured image: BMW