For 45 years, the BMW M car has been the go-to for anyone wanting a fun but practical daily driver. Now, as the world prepares to switch to a battery-powered future, the M division has yet to show its full hand. But that might be about to change, as BMW has confirmed that an all-new 5 Series is coming later this year, bringing with it a battery-electric performance model from those clever folks at M.
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So far, BMW’s performance-minded EVs include the XM, a new plug-in hybrid SUV that the German automaker launched last year, and the i4 M50, which sits alongside the gas-powered M4 in the middle of BMW’s range. But the automaker’s roster of high-performance EVs looks like it could be about to expand as BMW’s performance division turns its hand to the upcoming all-electric 5 Series.
The current 5 Series was released back in 2017; now, BMW will unveil its replacement in October 2023. When the new model comes out, BMW says it will be available with a conventional gasoline engine, as a plug-in hybrid, or as an all-electric vehicle.
During the recent BMW Group Annual Conference, Oliver Zipse, chairman of the board of management of BMW, also indicated that the new all-electric 5 Series would be given the M treatment. In a release shared by BMW, he said: “The all-electric BMW i4 M50 shows how BMW blends dynamic performance and electric mobility to perfection... It was the best-selling BMW M model worldwide in 2022. A fully electric performance model from BMW M GmbH will also be included in the new BMW 5 Series line-up.”
You’ll note that Zipse never came out and called it “an electric M5.” There’s a bit of linguistic chicanery here: Zipse calls the future M-tuned electric 5-series an “M Performance model.” In BMW parlance, that puts the M-tuned EV 5-series in the same category as the i4 M50. True BMW M vehicles, like the M3, M4, and M5, are referred to by the company as “M High Performance” models. Now you know!
Other than confirming that an all-electric M car is coming, BMW had very little else to share about the new model.
The automaker will unveil the new car later this year, and production of the new 5 Series will begin shortly after at BMW’s Plant Dingolfing, in Germany. Production at the site, which is the home of the automaker’s electric drive system assembly line, means that the electric 5 Series might struggle to qualify for EV tax breaks here in America.
Under the latest round of tax incentives for EVs announced by president Biden last year, stipulations were brought in that meant cars had to be build in the U.S. in order to qualify. This resulted in a race among overseas carmakers as they frantically planned new plants here in the U.S.
So far, this has seen companies including Honda and Hyundai invest heavily in EV production facilities in the U.S. BMW already has a plant in South Carolina, where it assembles its XM.