BMW’s engineers are hard at work testing the 2024 BMW M5 ahead of its launch in 2023, and their latest prototype gives us a clear look at what we can expect from the model’s first ever PHEV.
Previous M5 test cars looked a little rough with tacked-on arch flares and placeholder head- and taillights, but this latest prototype looks much tidier. The arch spats are gone, revealing subtly flared sheetmetal, and this newer test car also features chrome finishers for the M5’s trademark quad exhaust tailpipes, and what appears to be showroom-spec multi-spoke wheels and M door mirrors, two features missing on the last car our spy photographers snapped.
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But it’s the images of the grille of the 2024 M5 that really get our attention. Earlier prototypes had heavy mesh panels obscuring grille kidneys that, in common with those on non-M versions of the next 5-Series, are divided by a large central pillar. But with that mesh gone we can see that the M5 has switched from vertical to horizontal grille bars, bringing it the same family look seen on cars like the M3, M4 and M4 CSL and XM concept.
That’s not all the next M5 shares with the XM. Both cars will use plug-in hybrid powertrains based around an updated and electrified version of the current M5’s 4.4-litre V8 driving all four wheels. Though last year’s XM Concept was rated at 750 hp (760 PS) and 737 lb-ft (999 Nm), BMW subsequently said the first production versions of the SUV would be diluted to 644 hp (653 PS) and 590 lb-ft (800 Nm) of torque, with hotter models following later.
But intel from Autocar in June this year suggested the M5 would deliver around 790 hp (801 PS), a figure that seems highly believable considering that rival Mercedes-AMG’s latest GT63 E-Performance coupe’s 4.0-liter hybrid V8 powertrain is rated at 831 hp (840 PS) and 1033 lb-ft (1,400 Nm).
That kind of power output will definitely make anyone lucky enough to get behind the wheel of the next M5 very happy indeed, but what’s getting us most excited is the rumor that BMW will offer the 2024 M5 in both sedan and wagon guises for the first time since the E61 was killed off a decade ago. Unfortunately, since BMW has opted not to bring the new M3 Touring to America, there’s a worrying likelihood that if the M5 wagon does materialize, it might only do so in Europe.
Image credits CarPix for CarScoops