It’s a great time to love fast wagons. Mercedes-AMG has the E63 S Wagon, Audi has the RS6 Avant, Porsche has the Taycan Cross Turismo, Taycan Sport Turismo, and Panamera Sport Turismo, and in Europe, BMW has the M3 Touring. That last one’s a bit of a downer for North Americans, but before the internal combustion party winds down, BMW has another trick up its sleeve that might come stateside. A new BMW M5 Touring, codenamed G99, is confirmed for next year. Let’s dig in, shall we?
BMW has confirmed that the G99 M5 Touring will feature an electrified all-wheel-drive powertrain, and a quick teaser video posted to Instagram gives us more clues at to what might power the G99 M5. It’s easy to spot the charging port door on the left front fender, meaning this new M5 Touring is a plug-in hybrid. It’s possible that this new fast wagon uses a version of the 4.4-liter S68 hot-vee twin-turbocharged V8 currently found in the plug-in hybrid XM.
This powertrain possibility is the source of mild trepidation because high-output plug-in hybrids are incredibly heavy. Apples-to-apples case in point: The Porsche Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid weighs 595 pounds more than the already-two tonne regular Turbo S. Now, nobody buys an M5 expecting a four-door Lotus Elise, but weight is the enemy of performance. While modern tires and suspension tuning can be marvelous, the laws of physics are cruel and absolute.
Mind you, maybe fighting mass isn’t the only goal. BMW claims that this new M5 Touring will have “Uncompromising long-distance comfort,” which seems important because the old M5 Competition had dampers filled with iron and springs made of basalt, so it would constantly kick you in the kidneys over anything less than a perfectly smooth road. The legendary E39 M5 was downright comfortable and the E60 M5 didn’t ride like a skateboard, so here’s hoping the new M5 Touring learns to be a totally livable road car.
While no photos of the interior have been released yet, it’s pretty easy to guess what the bulk of the M5 Touring’s cabin will look like. Aside from the usual M sundries like a chunky steering wheel, heavily-bolstered seats, and an odd electronic shifter, expect the cabin to look almost exactly like the one in the regular 5 Series. It’s a sleek-looking cockpit with its hidden air vents, glass controls, and illuminated trim. Unsurprisingly, it also gets all the gadgets you could possibly throw an extended warranty at, so the G99 M5 Touring should sit right in the mix with the latest and greatest business jets for the road.
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Once the G99 arrives, the world will have three generations of M5 Touring, all with wildly different powertrains. The E34 Touring used the high-strung naturally-aspirated S38 inline-six paired with a manual gearbox, while the E61 used the thunderous S85 V10 paired with a single-clutch automated manual gearbox. All three couldn’t be more different, but they all should personify different eras of BMW M. The E34 M5 Touring is from the classic era, the E61 M5 Touring was the golden era, and the G99 M5 Touring is launching in the mass-market era.
Oh, and don’t be entirely surprised if the G99 happens to make its way to America. Unlike the V10-powered E61 M5 Touring, Car And Driver reports that the upcoming model could make it stateside for 2025 to do battle against the Audi RS6 Avant, Porsche Panamera Sport Turismo, and other heavy-hitting muscle wagons.
(Photo credits: BMW)
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