Well, it’s official — the next-gen BMW M5 is going to be a plug-in hybrid. We all sort of knew this already, as previous rumors had told us so and it just made sense. However, to see an actual BMW M5 test mule with “Hybrid Test Vehicle” badges makes it feel very real. These new spy photos show off just that, as BMW tests the new M5 in the snow. (We don’t own the spy photos but they can be seen here)

The test mule in these photos is absolutely cloaked in camouflage, barely giving up an square inch of its actual design. There’s not only camo wrapping but tons of body panel fakery in play, here. BMW really doesn’t want anyone seeing the new M5 before it’s revealed. However, there are a couple of things we can still notice through the camo.

One of which is its seemingly sensible grille design. We now know BMW is saving the big, beaver-tooth kidneys for its ultra high-end cars, such as the 7 Series, X7, and XM. With that said, and the seemingly small-ish shape of the grilles in these photos, the BMW M5 will likely look quite normal. Its headlights seem rather swoopy, as well, giving off an almost E60-like vibe. Though, with all of the camo, there’s no way to tell if that’s real or not. The new BMW M5, like the standard 5 Series, will also get flush door handles.

BMW M5 CS Test Drive 12 of 40 830x467
BMW M5 CS

Speaking of the standard 5 Series, you can tell this test mule is running on a mostly standard 5 Series body, with only a few M Division modifications made. That’s likely because BMW M hasn’t quite built any M5 bodies yet and is still testing its powertrain, chassis, suspension, and electronics. Though, you can tell it’s a proper M5 from its quad exhausts out back and its tacked-on fender flares.

Let’s get back to its powertrain, though. The BMW M5 is going to be a plug-in hybrid, which really boggles the mind a bit. We all knew it was coming but the fact that it’s officially on its way feels weird. When it debuts, it will likely have some version of the BMW XM Concept’s powertrain; an all-new twin-turbo V8 paired to an electric motor. In the XM Concept, it’s said to make upwards of 750 horsepower. The BMW M5 might not make that much but even if it makes 700 horsepower, it will be an absolute monster.

[Source: Motor1]