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BMW M5 gets electrified! New 717bhp plug-in hybrid super saloon revealed

Most powerful BMW M5 ever breaks cover with new plug-in hybrid V8 powertrain and an angry face

  • 717bhp plug-in hybrid V8
  • Touring estate version on the way
  • Priced from £110,500

Just as night follows day, the latest BMW 5 Series has finally been joined by the all-new high-performance BMW M5. It arrives with an aggressive body kit, an overhauled suspension and chassis setup and a hybrid system – a first for the M5.

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If you happen to have £110,500 burning a hole in your pocket, you’re in luck as the new M5 is available to order now, with the first UK cars arriving in November. Buyers with lots of cargo or a four-legged friend may want to hold fire, as BMW has confirmed that an M5 Touring estate is due to be unveiled soon.

What do I need to know about the new BMW M5’s hybrid V8?

Anyone familiar with BMW’s long history of M cars will be most intrigued by the new M5’s powertrain. The 4.4-litre V8 engine and eight-speed automatic gearbox have been carried over from the old car, although they’re joined by a plug-in hybrid system for the first time, following the trend set by the BMW XM. While that car makes do with ‘only’ 644bhp, the M5’s V8 and 194bhp electric motor put out a combined 717bhp and 1,000Nm of torque – enough to launch it from 0-62mph in 3.5 seconds.

The M5-aficionados among you will be quick to point out that that figure is actually 0.2 seconds slower than the old car, most likely due to the added weight of the hybrid system. What you lose in straight line speed, however, you make up for with electric driving capabilities, thanks to a 19.6kWh battery. Stick it in electric driving mode and you’ll have up to 43 miles of emissions-free driving with a maximum speed of 87mph. Charging is limited to 11kW AC – there’s no DC fast charging like you’ll find with the latest PHEVs from Mercedes. 

What else do I need to know about the new BMW M5?

To handle all that power and weight, BMW’s engineers have tinkered with the 5 Series’s chassis and suspension. You get adaptive dampers, rear-wheel steering and xDrive all-wheel drive as standard, while carbon ceramic brakes are available as an optional upgrade from the regular ‘M Compound’ set. The wheels measure 20 and 21 inches front and rear respectively and sit wider apart than those on the regular 5 Series. 

To house the wider wheels, the M5’s wheel arches have swelled outwards in much the same way as the smaller BMW M3 and M4. There are bespoke bumpers, too, complete with big air intakes, a rear diffuser and quad-tailpipes. Inside, you’ll find adaptive M seats and an M-specific steering wheel with configurable driving mode buttons, both finished in Merino leather. Of course, the curved infotainment and driver’s displays are carried over from the regular 5 Series, along with ambient lighting and the head-up display.

How much does the new BMW M5 cost and when can I buy one?

Starting from £110,500, the new BMW M5 isn’t cheap, and we expect the M5 Touring to cost slightly more when it arrives later this year. A more powerful, more expensive M5 Competition is on the cards, too, if BMW is to follow its usual lineup strategy. Customers can place an order now, with the first examples due to reach the UK in November.

Read an up-to-date list of our favourite four-door sports cars for the best in practical performance…

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