Whether it will be used for production versions of the next M5 remains to be seen, although suggestions are that BMW M is developing its own performance battery with ultra-rapid discharge properties.
Captured in these exclusive photographs testing on roads around BMW M’s headquarters on the outskirts of Munich in Germany, the next M5 also adopts a heavily reworked chassis.
Key distinguishing features on the early prototype revealed here include widened front and rear tracks. Further clear giveaways to the new M model’s identity include the performance brake system and quad tailpipes.
The decision to provide the M5 with hybrid power comes after rival Mercedes-AMG unveiled the GT63 E-Performance 4Matic+. Set for UK sale in 2022, it uses a twin-turbocharged 4.0-litre V8 engine in combination with a rear-mounted electric motor, developing a combined total of 831bhp and 1023lb ft.
Recent media reports suggested BMW M was planning to equip the next M5 with a pure-electric drivetain. Although this has been ruled out, Autocar can confirm that BMW M is planning its own version of the upcoming i5 EV saloon, which is likely to be called i5 M60.
BMW M’s first two electric models, the BMW i4 M50 and iX M60, are now on sale in the UK.