The folks over at Autoblog have found some interesting spy footage of a camouflaged 5 Series, and it is likely to be an M5. The M5 giveaways are the quad exhaust pipes and massive brake rotors and calipers. It’s clear that this camo’d 5er is no ordinary 5 Series and has some serious horsepower. However, there seems to be another mysterious detail found on this test mule — a charge port.
There seems to be a charge port on the front, driver’s side fender, which is where it lies on the X5 xDrive40e plug-in hybrid. Now, obviously, this isn’t concrete evidence towards the next M5 being a plug-in hybrid. It’s quite possible that it’s just the test mule body for the upcoming 5 Series plug-in hybrid and BMW is using it for all the 5 Series test mules. This type of sharing happens frequently with automakers, before they have the body finished for specific cars. Most recently, Jaguar was caught using a modified XF body to test the chassis of the XE.
However, the charge port is still there, so it begs the question, could BMW be making a plug-in M5? We already know that the next M5 will likely be available with all-wheel drive. So why not throw another big change into the mix, as well? BMW has stated that hybrid technology has no place in M Division cars as of now, however there have been hints and rumors that a hybrid M car may not be that far off.
We recently spoke of what a plug-in hybrid M car might be like and why BMW might need to consider it in the future. But could it be happening already? With the recent release of the Cadillac ATS-V and CTS-V, the Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG and upcoming E63 AMG and the Tesla Model S P85D, BMW might be thinking about the future of the M Division. A plug-in hybrid variant of the M5 could give BMW a significant advantage over its competition and give BMW an early foot in the performance plug-in hybrid segment.
This is all just wild speculation, of course. This test mule is most likely just a standard M5 with the plug-in 5er’s body slapped on for testing. However, it is fun to speculate and imagine what a plug-in M5 might be like.