Our spy photographers have spotted the next-generation BMW M5 out and about during public road testing in Europe.
Despite the presence of acres of swirly camouflage, there are a few tell tale signs that we're looking at the next version of the M5. At the front there's a larger air intake than on next-gen BMW 5 Series prototypes we've seen earlier, while at the rear this car has quad exhaust tips.
Additionally the car rides on low profile rubber and is equipped with cross-drilled brakes. Finally, this development vehicle is fitted with placeholder headlights, whereas regular versions of the next-generation 5 Series have already been spotted with production units.
Not too many specifics are known about the new M5. Rumours indicate that it will be powered by an engine with around 450kW of power at its disposal.
The current M5 in Competition Package trim has a 4.4-litre twin-turbo V8 boasting 423kW of power and 680Nm of torque. With drive sent to the rear wheels via a standard seven-speed dual-clutch transmission, the current car is capable of a 0-100km/h time of 4.2 seconds.
Earlier this year, Carsten Pries, head of product management at BMW’s M Division, told Car Advice that all-wheel drive M cars may be possible in the future, especially if his engineers are capable of driving down the weight penalty.
AWD M vehicles would not only help out with traction in cold weather climates, but it would give BMW a direct competitor against all-paw Mercedes-AMG and Audi RS models.
As with other members of the next-generation 5 Series range, as well as the just released 7 Series sedan, the new M5 will be built on the company's flexible and lightweight 35up platform. Through various measures, the new 5 Series is expected to be around 100kg lighter than the current car.