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2024 BMW M5: our best look yet at new plug-in hybrid super-saloon

BMW’s upcoming M5 will see the return of the estate and an abundance of new technology

Think super saloon and the BMW M5 will probably be the first car that pops into mind. A new one is coming and we’ve spotted it testing plenty of times over the past few years, but our latest shots show the car with less camouflage than ever before. 

BMW has teased the M5 Touring recently, but given that the saloon was the first version of the M5 we spied testing several years back, we suspect it’ll arrive first. The 4-door car we’ve spotted testing here has rid itself of camouflage on its doors, headlights and rear lights. Those lights and doors look identical to the regular BMW 5 Series and its BMW i5 all-electric equivalent, however. 

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There are plenty of similarities to the regular 5 Series throughout - in keeping with the M5’s traditionally understated design. We can spot a few differences that’ll mark it out as the firm’s ultimate performance saloon though. We’ll see the same shape kidney grille design as on the regular 5 Series, but with bespoke M division inserts. The air intakes for the grilles only open on the bottom half with the centre section incorporating the forward-facing radar sensor. The new M5 will be a plug-in hybrid with the charging cap located on the front wing (the side not pictured here). 

The lower part of the front bumper incorporates a vertical strake that will be a unique feature of the M5. The rest of the bumper is also changed over the regular 5 Series with large, angular intakes helping to funnel air to the radiator - in a similar fashion to other BMW M cars. Previous test cars have utilised a larger panel on the bonnet to hide the indent that flows front the grille, but here it’s uncovered. 

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As we’ve seen on prototype versions of the M5, it’ll retain many of the design traits typically associated with BMW’s big performance estate. There’ll be a subtle rear roof spoiler, wider wheel arches, quad exhaust tips and with this teaser image - bespoke wheels. The classic ‘Hofmeister kink’ on the rear pillar isn’t visible on either the saloon or the estate. 

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The estate ‘Touring’ version will be squarely aimed at the Audi RS 6 Avant. It’s been 16 years since we last saw a BMW M5 Touring in the shape of the E61-generation model and the new iteration was teased by BMW’s M division in a special Christmas-themed wrap in late 2023. A recent video of the M5 saloon and M5 Touring followed their cold-weather testing programme in the popular automotive research and development location of Arjeplog, Sweden. 

During the video, the test driver claims the M5 will “100 per cent fulfil the expectations of an M customer”, going on to add “it’s an all-purpose tool on the motorway, as well as on the racetrack”. 

Our exclusive image gives a better indication of how the next BMW M5 will look. The M5’s usual aggressive, performance-focused detail will remain and we expect those new headlights will also employ laser light technology, and the car’s front wings will share a similar design to those on the new 2 Series.

BMW M5 interior and technology

The M5’s cabin will be all-new, and mostly borrowed from the new 5 Series. It’ll feature BMW’s iDrive 8 infotainment system with features such as 5G connectivity and an augmented-reality navigation system. Just like the standard car, a 14.9-inch touchscreen with a 12.3-inch digital instrument panel on a single piece of curved glass will be used. Bespoke features for the M5 are expected inside, such as carbon-fibre bucket seats and colourways to match the M division. 

We’ve also spotted test cars wearing a small but significant label on the side stating “Electrified Vehicle”. That’s because the power on the new M5 will be hybridised, most likely coming from the new BMW XM super-SUV. 

BMW M5 engine and performance

The last M5 Touring got a naturally-aspirated V10, but here we have a more contemporary engine - albeit more powerful. In the BMW XM, the 482bhp turbocharged 4.4-litre V8 produces and 194bhp electric motor combines to produce 644bhp and 800Nm of torque. Power is sent to all four wheels through an eight-speed automatic transmission. In the M5, however, we could see power bumped up to 748bhp if BMW decides to use the version set for the upcoming ‘Label Red’ variant. To keep things in check, the M5 Touring will come with bigger brakes and tyres than the standard 5 Series.

The new M5 should offer electric-only running thanks to the powertrain’s 25.7kWh battery. In the XM the system allows for 55 miles of EV-only motoring, which could increase in the M5 thanks to its more aerodynamic shape.

Speedy and spacious! These are the best fast estate cars...

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Senior news reporter

A keen petrol-head, Alastair Crooks has a degree in journalism and worked as a car salesman for a variety of manufacturers before joining Auto Express in Spring 2019 as a Content Editor. Now, as our senior news reporter, his daily duties involve tracking down the latest news and writing reviews.

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