2024 BMW M5 spy photos confirm plug-in hybrid power

The next iteration of BMW’s legendary performance sedan has been spotted testing, with hybrid stickers and a charging flap confirming it will adopt plug-in hybrid technology.

The next-generation 2024 BMW M5 super sedan has been spied testing for the first time, ahead of its expected launch in two years’ time.

Images captured by Drive’s spy photography partners provide our first look at the new M5, codenamed G90 – and confirm widespread rumours the next-generation BMW performance sedan will make the switch to plug-in hybrid power.

‘Hybrid Test Vehicle’ stickers adorn the G90 M5’s doors and rear bumper – and while not pictured in these images, a charging flap has been seen on the test car’s front left quarterpanel, in a similar location to the current 5 Series plug-in hybrid’s charging port, with which the new model will share its CLAR platform.

It’s widely expected the next M5 will employ the plug-in powertrain set to debut with the upcoming XM super SUV, pairing a new 4.4-litre twin-turbocharged ‘S68’ V8 engine (replacing the current M5’s S63 mill) with a circa-150kW electric motor for a combined output in excess of 500kW.

The XM concept revealed in late 2021 claimed 550kW and 1000Nm from its version of the hybrid system, while rumours suggest the M5 will offer closer to 560kW – both representing significant increases over the 467kW/750Nm of the current, petrol-only ‘F90’ BMW M5 CS.

While the XM concept was said to offer up to 80km of all-electric driving range, other images of the M5 prototype show its licence plate lacks an ‘E’ suffix – available for plug-in hybrid and electric vehicles with more than 40km of zero-emissions driving range.

UK publication Autocar reports the new M5 will pair a re-engineered version of BMW’s current 4.4-litre S63 V8 with a circa-150kW/300Nm electric motor for combined outputs as high as 590kW and 1000Nm. The battery pack – reportedly similar in capacity to the current 545e’s 12kWh unit – will reportedly offer “limited electric drive compatibility”.

The spy photos confirm the new M5 will continue to set itself apart from the standard 5 Series in the styling department, with enlarged front air intakes, a lower ride height, and the M5’s signature quad exhaust outlet arrangement.

Large alloy wheels hide enlarged ventilated brake discs. The prototype uses bolt-on wheel arch flares to cover its wider front and rear track widths – though expect these to be replaced by smoother, better-integrated blistered wheel arches once the production M5 makes its debut in 2024.

A glimpse inside the new M5’s cabin shows BMW’s latest steering wheel design – expected to be joined by a pair of high-resolution displays running the German car maker’s latest iDrive 8 software.

The next-generation 2024 BMW M5 is slated to go on sale overseas sometime in 2024 – likely around a year after the launch of the standard ‘G60’ 5 Series (due in mid-2023), using launch timing of past M5 models as a guide.

Upon its launch, BMW’s new large performance sedan will face off against the next generation of the Mercedes-AMG E63 – rumoured to switch from its current twin-turbo V8 to a four-cylinder plug-in hybrid system – in addition to an all-electric Audi RS6 E-Tron Avant wagon.

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