The next generation BMW M5 was spotted again, running around in its black and white camouflage. Quad exhaust pipes, drilled rotors, big wheels and lowered suspension give it away as being an M5 and not your run-of-the-mill 5 Series. One of the biggest questions surrounding the next-gen M5 is whether or not xDrive all-wheel drive will be an option. Last time we spied it, it was running around in the snow, so it’s very possible. This time, however, it’s being tested on a hot summer’s day, so we can’t really determine any drivetrain information.
What we do know is that it will use extensive amounts of carbon fiber, aluminum and magnesium, much like its older sibling, the 7 Series. This should help in creating a much more dynamic car than the already very impressive current M5. Judging by the pictures with the people in it which, without comparison, can’t be very accurate, this upcoming M5 seems to be a bit smaller. The wheelbase should remain similar, but the whole car seems a bit shorter, with shorter front and rear wheel overhangs.
The car also seems to sit a bit lower than the current-gen and has a more smoothly tapered roofline by the C-Pillar. The rear deck also seems a bit shorter. This is all probably due to the new CLAR architecture shared with the new 7 Series, which should help with the M5’s only real problems; weight and size.
No word on powertrain options yet, but expect it to be a revised version of the 4.4 liter Twin Turbo V8 currently being used. BMW has proven that it can push that engine well over 600hp, and that’s probably a realistic power estimate. That engine has proven to be excellent, even in comparison to much newer ones, so there seems to be no reason to change it now. Transmission options will likely just be the seven-speed DCT, with the possibility of a manual coming to the North American market later on.
We still aren’t positive whether this new M5 will be available with all-wheel drive or not, but it’s very likely. All of its competitors, like the Mercedes E63 AMG and Jaguar XFR-S are making the switch and once you start to get into 600hp territory, all-wheel drive starts to become necessary for traction. However, there’s no need to fret for the weary, BMW M CEO, Franciscus Van Meel has clearly stated that if M ever made an all-wheel drive car, classic M dynamics would remain. “If we were to make a four-wheel-drive car, it would have a rear-wheel drive feel but with added traction. It would need to drive like an M car. If it was possible to get those vehicle dynamics with four-wheel drive, then it would be suitable for us.”
So, while much of the M5’s details are still under wraps, we can rest assured that whatever BMW is planning will be a worthy successor to the currently excellent M5. For now, we can just check out these spy shots and hope.