While some performance manufacturers are dropping their eight-cylinder cars, it looks like the next-generation BMW M5 could retain its one. A new report suggests that the Bavarian brand’s halo sedan may keep this unit with some form of electrification to keep it in-line with the developing emissions standards.
As Autocar reports, the next-generation BMW M5, which is expected to break cover in 2023, is likely to employ the S63 twin-turbo 4,4-litre V8 with a plug-in hybrid electric motor which will provide a combined power output of 560 kW. This is the same unit that is expected to be used in the brand’s upcoming X8 performance SUV. This is not too unlike what Mercedes-Benz has in plan for its PHEV AMG GT four-door.
Alongside this car, there is a possibility that the brand will be developing an all-electric i5 M performance model that will make use of its CLAR architecture with three electric motors. The proposed power output for this model is in the 600 kW region but it may have considerable weight penalties.
BMW development boss Klaus Fröhlich tells the British publication that there will not be any fully electric M cars until 2025. “Until then, we will have naturally aspirated, turbo and ‘powered’ PHEV applications that deliver what we want to achieve,” he said, suggesting pure-electric powertrains and platforms remain too heavy to match the dynamic performance of today’s M cars.
Fröhlich also hints that an EV will boast an easily configurable traction control system which means agility and responsiveness of such a product could be on a par with its current M offering. “The control can be 100 per cent faster than on an M4 today, so it is easy to have a more responsive car,” he said. “If you want a drift mode that slips to five or 10 degrees, even 45, then it is easy.”