It seems that with every new generation of BMW vehicle, new ground is being broken. While brands usually try and break new ground with new models, this is a transitional time for the automobile, as most brands switch over to electrification. That includes BMW and its upcoming M5 which, for the first time ever, will pack a hybrid powertrain, proven by these spy photos.

By now, it’s no secret that the upcoming “G90” BMW M5 will have a hybrid powertrain. We’ve discussed it several times and BMW isn’t exactly shy about it. However, it’s still interesting to see a “Hybrid Test Vehicle” sticker on the side of an M5. The BMW M5 has existed for almost four decades and has become a staple of the automotive world, so a shift in powertrain technology is big news.

When it debuts, expect it to use the same powertrain as the BMW XM—a 4.4-liter twin-turbocharged V8 paired to an electric motor to make 653 horsepower and 590 lb-ft of torque. Although, there’s a chance it could get the XM Label Red’s powertrain, with 750 horsepower, which might come in a future Competition or CS model. The BMW M5 will do more with the same power, though. Its lighter weight, lower center of gravity, better aerodynamics, and smaller footprint will make it faster and more exciting to drive. The idea of a hybrid M5 might leave a bad taste in the mouths of enthusiasts but there’s no denying it will be quick. Let’s hope BMW continues to build on the lessons learned with the M5 CS, the best car it’s made in decades.

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Photo by instagram.com/wilcoblok

Even more exciting news is the return of the BMW M5 Touring. While BMW hasn’t officially confirmed it, M Division CEO Frank van Meel recently hinted that such a car was coming. Which only confirms what we’ve already heard from our own sources. Additionally, that M5 Touring might even make its way to the U.S. market, which is seeming more and more likely each day. Even van Meel said that the U.S. market is the M Division’s biggest and dealers are telling BMW that their customers are asking for performance wagons. Duh, BMW. The Audi RS6 Avant has basically been sold out for the past couple of years, you’re just realizing U.S. customers want fast wagons now? Mini rant over.

The next-gen BMW M5 is going to be an interesting an exciting one. It will move the technological bar forward for the M Division and we’re incredibly excited to see what it can do when it arrives.

[Photos by instagram.com/wilcoblok]