What started off as a juicy rumor a few months ago is gaining substance as the M division’s boss admitted the M5 Touring’s return is being considered. Speaking with CarBuzz during the M Fest in South Africa, Frank van Meel acknowledged there’s been strong interest from customers in North America for a third long-roof M5 after the super-rare E34 and the V10-powered E61.
“We do see the demand increasing, especially in regard to M, because the US is our single biggest market, our most important market. We listened to our dealers and our customers, and they’re coming more and more, asking for a Touring. So, we are taking that into consideration.”
While this statement could leave some people to believe there’s a shot North America will get the recently launched M3 Touring, the M CEO made it clear he was referring to the bigger of the two high-performance wagons. When asked about whether BMW M wants to fight the likes of the Audi RS6 Avant and the Mercedes-AMG E63 Estate with a new M5 Touring, Frank van Meel replied:
“And [the E34 is] actually standing outside somewhere here in the great purple color. We’ll see. Keep your eyes open, and if you see something like that on the Nürburgring, we’re going to do it.”
The increasingly likely M5 Touring has a codename already – G99 – and will arrive several months after the G90 sedan. BMW M workshop manager Hans Rahn has already confirmed the next M5 will switch to a plug-in hybrid V8 powertrain by using the same twin-turbo 4.4-liter “S68” and electric motor as the XM.
A wagon version would obviously rely on the same setup, which in the standard SUV delivers 653 hp and 800 Nm (590 lb-ft) but a Label Red variant coming in 2023 will up the power ante to 748 hp and 1,000 Nm (737 lb-ft).
Sources familiar with BMW’s agenda claim the M5 Sedan will enter production in July 2024 while the M5 Touring will follow in November of the same year. And yes, the more practical body style is believed to be earmarked for the United States. That should heal the wound after a decision was made not to bring the M3 Touring to North America.