To many, the BMW M5 has always embodied that delicate balance of a comfy cruiser and ferocious speed monger. That’s in large part thanks to the suitcase nukes under the hood, be they twin-turbo V-8s, free-breathing V-8s, celestial straight-sixes, or screaming V-10s—badass Bavarian engines have always been central to the M5’s appeal.
That’s why the latest rumors about the next-generation BMW M5 have us raising our eyebrows. According to a recent report from Car magazine in the U.K., a member of the BMW M Division R&D team stated that all versions of BMW’s next super sedan will have some sort of electric powertrain component, whether in the form of plug-in hybrid or full-electric propulsion. The next generation 5 Series is reportedly scheduled to arrive in late 2023, and the top-of-the-line M5 will follow a year after, in 2024.
The plug-in variant is rumored to share a powertrain with the upcoming X8 M, which consists of a gas-powered V-8 engine (likely huffing boost from two turbochargers) and a pair of electric motors good for a combined 750 horsepower or so, and 737 lb-ft of torque turning all four wheels. That’s a considerable jump from the most powerful M5 we have now, whose 4.4-liter twin-turbo V-8 boasts 617 horsepower in Competition models. The torque jump is even more impressive—the current M5 Competition produces 553 lb-ft.
On the purely battery-powered M5, there are rumors of four-figure power, as well as a 2.9-second targeted 0-62 mph time. Internal documents hint at three 250-kWh electric motors, one for each of the rear wheels, and one to turn the front pair. The supposed maximum projected range of the pure EV M5 is 435 miles, but that’s an estimate based on the WTLP test cycle, which is more forgiving than the EPA test cycle. Charging will be handled first by a 400-volt system, but there’s already a planned upgrade to the 800-volt system first pioneered by the Porsche Taycan.
If the rumors are indeed true, that means that BMW showrooms currently contain the last of the purely gas-powered M5s. While we’re no doubt sad to see that reality come to fruition, we’ll abstain passing judgement on what the electrification will do to the M5’s performance characteristics until we get a chance to drive one.
Have thoughts on what the rumor would mean for the M5 as we know it? Let us know in the Hagerty Community.