BMW has been doing this very annoying thing lately, where it makes the grilles of its M cars radically different than those of the cars on which they’re based. For example, the BMW 2 Series has very cool grilles that are wide, short, and handsome, almost like Vincent Price’s villainous mustache. However, the BMW M2 has a blocky kidney grille that’s entirely different and worse in every way. The BMW M3 has the same irradiated beaver grille as the M4, despite the 3 Series have a very normal, handsome grille. However, thank the car gods, the BMW M5 won’t go down that route. In fact, it will have the same grille as the new BMW i5 M60.
During our recent discussion with BMW head of design, Domagoj Dukec, we were told that the M5’s grille will be almost identical to the one you see on the i5 M60 (and presumably every other M Performance 5 Series). The reason for that is annoying—BMW is trying to continue visually merging M Performance and proper M cars. While that’s frustrating, as it reduces the specialness of proper M cars, at least it means the M5 will still be handsome.
Of course, the M5’s grille will be functional, whereas the i5 M60’s is not. Despite having some electrification, the G90 M5 will still pack a twin-turbo V8, as it will be a plug-in hybrid, so it’s going to need some cooling up front. However, the basic shape and design of the grille will be the same as the i5 M60’s.
Looking at the i5’s grille, its shape is great. If you just look at its silhouette, it looks like a perfectly normal BMW kidney grille and it’s surprisingly well-proportioned. It’s still big, because modern cars are big and there’s a lot of purchase space on the front end of the new 5er. But at least the grille is within proportion to the front end’s size. Admittedly, the i5’s grille gets a bit weirder when you look closer, as the front radar sensor is built into the middle and there’s a bunch of space carved out of it, so it looks odd. But the M5 will likely be different.
While we don’t know for sure, it’s likely that the BMW M5 retains the i5 M60’s grille shape but fills it in with more traditional grille slats to add cooling. Will it get proper vertical grille slats, like all BMWs should have, or will it go with annoying horizontal ones, like on the M2, M3, and M4? We don’t know but, either way, we’re just happy BMW is giving the M5 a proper set of grilles.