The seventh-generation BMW M5 is finally here, and it’s more controversial than ever. The G90 M5 not only builds upon the equally contentious design of the 5 Series but also introduces an electrified drivetrain to the iconic business sedan. This plug-in hybrid drivetrain is arguably the biggest point of contention and will likely spark many debates among enthusiasts. Considering the size of the new M5, incorporating an electric motor makes a lot of sense, especially to mitigate the weight, which stands at 5,390 lbs (2,445 kg).

A Day On The Salzburgring

In May, BMW invited us to a track day at the iconic Salzburgring. At the time, the new M5 was still under wraps or hidden in a backroom where I had a chance to film it, but a camouflaged prototype was ready for us. The near-production-ready test mule featured the drivetrain we will see on the road this summer. By combining the S68 twin-turbo, 4.4-liter gas engine with an electric motor, the G90 M5 achieves a total system output of 717 horsepower and 738 pound-feet (1,000 Newton meters) of torque. The S68 combustion engine produces 577 hp and 553 lb-ft (750 Nm) of torque, with peak torque available between 1,800 and 5,400 rpm. The engine delivers its maximum output from 5,600 to 6,500 rpm and has a rev limit of 7,200 rpm. Built into the eight-speed automatic transmission, the e-motor generates 194 hp and 207 lb-ft (280 Nm) of torque.

Less Powerful Than The XM

Although it’s not as powerful as the BMW XM Label, an M5 CS is likely coming in the future. However, it is slightly lighter than the mammoth SUV, which weighs in at 6,094 lbs. The M5 transmits power through the same eight-speed automatic transmission, specifically software-tuned for this model. M xDrive is standard but can be turned off to enable rear-wheel drive only. Additionally, Integral Active Steering is present, with a steering angle of up to 1.5 degrees to help tackle corners at high speeds.

Bigger wheels and tires are integral to this new M5 package, essential for putting down grip and managing the weight when cornering. The 2025 BMW M5 rides on staggered wheels with 20-inch front and 21-inch rear alloys, featuring 285/40 ZR20 and 295/35 ZR21 tires, respectively. These are larger than before and come with performance rubber as standard. The compound brakes feature 410-mm front discs, whereas the carbon-ceramic setup includes larger 420-mm discs. Both use perforated discs, but only the upgraded set has the signature gold-painted calipers.

The battery integrates into the floor of the car, leading to a lower center of gravity. With wider axles and a longer wheelbase, this results in improved driving dynamics. Also, the cooling system is geared more towards the racetrack compared to the XM. When it comes to the chassis, numerous struts stiffen the front end, both under the hood and underneath the floor. Coil springs are used front and rear, with no active roll stabilizers, and Bilstein coilovers offer more comfort for everyday driving and higher damping forces for planting the car on the track.

A Track Weapon Or A Daily Driver?

On the track, a leading BMW M4 CS opens up the way for a few laps with the new G90 M5. It’s a beautiful and sunny day at Salzburgring, unlike two years ago when I tested the G87 M2. Salzburgring is a fast track, with an overall average speed of 160 kph (99 mph), favoring the massive power and sprints of the M5. However, it also has enough tight corners to test how the car handles under load.

From the start, you can tell this new M5 means business. A slight push on the gas pedal and the heavy beast is ready to take off. The power delivery feels different from the XM, more progressive and linear, befitting a sports business sedan. Flattening the gas pedal results in a 0-60 mph time of just 3.4 seconds. Impressive, but that’s just straight-line performance that mostly Tesla owners care about. What we’re here to find out is whether this M5 is worthy of its badge.

The G90 M5 leans hard into the first fast corner at over 250 km/h (155 mph) with the front-end biting hard onto the asphalt. The new M5 does a great job holding all four wheels onto the asphalt without any tail spin or loss of traction. The front-end takes care of the heavy load, and you can tell this M5 is nose-heavy. Screeching tire noises comes from the front, but traction is not lost even when the limits are pushed.

The steering rack speed and sharpness are what you expect from modern M cars: a bit softer and not so engaging. You can also tell that BMW feels understeer is safer in this package, equipping these new M5s with the staggered wheel setup, which produces slight understeer. Understeer generally numbs the front-end response, dulling turn-in characteristics and requiring slower entry into turns. This is more obvious when you come from the M4 CS, which I drove just a few minutes before.

There is a slight amount of body roll in this new M5, which might be a positive in a car of this size. If the drive is too flat with no body roll, it doesn’t make for the best driver’s car. The speed of the roll is more important and has to be precise to get some feedback from lateral forces. And I certainly got plenty when trying to keep up with the flying M4 CS in front of me.

It’s Heavy In Corners, But Fast On Straightaways

Naturally, this 2025 BMW M5 feels heavy at times, especially under extreme braking. The braking points come a lot earlier than in the M4 CS, for example, and you can see the nose pitching forward. While the M4 CS allows you to enter more aggressively into the corner, the M5 asks for more patience. Once you straighten out the wheels and open the steering, the massive torque takes care of the rest, turning the car into a missile.

I reached 270 km/h (167 mph) on the long straightaway at Salzburgring, and that felt effortless. The S68 pulls hard across the entire rpm band. In fact, BMW says it takes the G90 M5 2.9 seconds for the sprint from 50 to 75 mph in fifth gear. In fourth gear, this figure drops as low as 2.2 seconds. The ZF 8-speed is fantastic: smooth, precise, and fast. It’s the best in the business and works brilliantly with the V8.

The carbon ceramic brakes feel like a must on this car. Aside from delivering superior stopping power, the upgraded setup shaves off 55 lbs (25 kg). And believe me, on a track, you need these with your M5.

MDM – More Fun On Track

On the last lap, I engaged MDM Mode. A quick tap on the M2 button and now the nanny controls are relaxed. The character of the G90 M5 changes quite a bit. The power delivery is more brutal, and the rear-end is certainly more playful, allowing for controlled drifts. The car feels less domesticated, less of a business sedan, and more of a track weapon. However, the weight cannot be hidden. The front tires struggle a bit to hold the grip and you can certainly hear them putting in the work. If I go too early flat out, then traction is lost a bit at the front, so once again, patience is the name of the game with new M5.

Overall, the new 2025 BMW M5 is a very capable car, but it may not be the ideal choice for a track day. Compared to its predecessor, which was fantastic in many ways, it lacks a bit of the BMW M soul. The previous F90 M5 Competition feels more raw, more of an Ultimate Driving Machine, while being a good daily driver. The F90 M5 CS was the pinnacle of the M5 family and, in my opinion, one of the best M products ever made. Therefore, the benchmark was set quite high for this G90 M5.

Does It Live Up To The Expectations?

When it comes to straight-line performance, absolutely. It’s a missile on four wheels that will certainly put a smile on your face. But is that enough to get your heart pumping? It depends. If you’re an enthusiast who values driving dynamics and fun over sheer power and drag racing credentials, you might be slightly disappointed. But if you plan to use this M5 for daily driving or long-distance trips, the G90 M5 will certainly deliver. It was a bit odd that BMW decided to put this heavy M5 on the track, but I’m glad they did because now we can get the full picture of the new M5 and its capabilities.

Naturally, one has to wonder why BMW decided to go for a plug-in hybrid drivetrain instead of tuning up the S68 engine, which is likely capable of achieving at least 650 HP on its own. The answer to that only BMW will know. But if I were to guess, it probably has to do with timing. If we go back in time 6-7 years, the automotive world looked different. Plug-in hybrids were hot, electrification was just gaining traction, so it’s likely the M division wasn’t looking to launch their first fully electric car in 2024. By offering an electrified drivetrain with a modest electric range (around 25 miles on the EPA rating), BMW is easing everyone into their electric future.

Is this PHEV approach a good choice for an M car? Time will tell, but maybe it’s the enthusiasts who care more about the drivetrain choice than regular customers who prioritize different things in their M5s. We look forward to taking this car on the street to see if the driving experience changes for us.

Here is the video review also: