Not sold on a Vision XM? Seems the hybrid V8 is coming to the M5 as well
By Matt Bird / Wednesday, January 12, 2022 / Loading comments
Hybrid M cars are as inevitable as the turbocharged models once were. Combine environmental pressure with consumer demand and there’s no real arguing with the evolution. Pure electric will be there one day, too (and kind of is, with cars like the iX M60), but we’ll deal with the prospect of an electric M2 and similar another time. For now, here’s the first sighting of a more traditional electrified M car (because there’s no way the Vision XM counts as traditional). It’s a plug-in hybrid M5.
That’s not mere guesswork, either; it says ‘Hybrid Test Vehicle’ on the back, right in the middle of four tailpipes that have been an M5 trademark for more than 20 years. Other clues to its identity are harder to spot – this is a disguised version of an M5 when we haven’t seen the 5 Series yet – but there are a couple of giveaways, notably the big brake discs and blistered front wheel arches. There’s no way this is a 530e.
What can we expect from the seventh M5? A powertrain that mirrors the Vision XM is virtually assured, pairing a further evolution of the ‘S63’ 4.4-litre, twin-turbo V8 with battery assistance. In the SUV concept, BMW promised 750hp and 737lb ft, and we’d expect the saloon to deliver similar numbers. Which, to anybody’s who’s experienced a 625hp/590lb ft M5 Competition, will seem barmy. And unnecessary.
But, as ever, BMW has the competition to worry about – and if Mercedes-AMG is set to make an E-Performance GT 4-door with more than 800hp, M Division cannot be seen to lag to far behind. Plus, of course, hybridisation will add heft, likely making this the first M5 to officially weigh in at more than two tonnes.
Again to keep pace with AMG, and in following BMW hybrid tradition, some EV range is expected for the car. Handily the target is a mere 12km, or 7.5 miles; even while aiming to retain the M car super-saloon billing for this plug-in, a few more miles than that will surely be possible by the time of launch. It has been rumoured that the prototypes are currently using the 11.6 kWh battery found in the 545e, which in that car contributes 108hp and an official 30 miles of range. But don’t be surprised if M division is saving up something super-duper for a car as significant as the first electrified M5.
With the CS version of the current car already available (and bewitching all who drive it), history would confirm that time is running out for the existing model. For M2, M3 and M4, the CS came towards the very end of the production run, and there’s no reason to think that won’t be the same for the M5. With a new 5 Series due next year, an M5 is likely to follow as soon as 2024. Which still sounds like a year very far in the future, but is a mere 24 months from now. And we all know perfectly well how two years can vanish, so expect more M5 news soon. Although not before that XM, of course…
- BMW unveils standalone Vision XM
- BMW M5 CS | PH Review
Image credit | S. Baldauf/S.B.Medien
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