The new M5 Hybrid System is nearly 900 pounds in weight.

The new BMW M5 has arrived, and it’s significantly heavier than its predecessor, weighing in at 5,390 pounds. Most of the added weight can be attributed to the plug-in hybrid system, which adds 400kg (881 pounds) to the car. Despite the weight penalty, BMW M boss Frank van Meel believes that having a full-on plug-in hybrid system offers significant advantages over a normal hybrid setup.

In this article, we will delve into the details of the new BMW M5, exploring the reasons behind its weight gain and the impact it has on performance. We will also discuss the considerations that led BMW to opt for a plug-in hybrid system, as well as the potential alternative powertrain options that were considered.

The Weight Dilemma

The G90-generation M5 has faced criticism for its hefty weight, which exceeds that of larger vehicles like the Chevy Tahoe and Ford F-150. Frank van Meel acknowledges the weight issue but explains that the added mass has been strategically positioned, with the battery located in the floor to lower the center of gravity. Without the hybrid system, the M5 would have weighed around 4,500 pounds, closer to its competitors in the high-performance sedan segment.

Embracing Electrification

Despite the weight challenges, BMW decided to pursue a plug-in hybrid system for the new M5, citing the significant performance advantages it offers. The continuous electric power output and energy, along with 43 miles of electric range and 200 additional horsepower, were compelling factors in favor of the PHEV setup. The decision to forego a non-plug-in hybrid system was made after evaluating the performance benefits of the electric powertrain.

Considering Alternative Powertrains

In the process of developing the new M5, BMW explored various powertrain options, including an inline-six and a fully electric setup. Ultimately, the team opted for the V-8 engine, as it offered a balance of power output, compactness, and emotional appeal. Although an all-electric M5 was considered, technological limitations related to sustained performance and range ruled out this option in favor of the plug-in hybrid system.

Future Directions

Looking ahead, BMW remains committed to pushing the boundaries of performance and efficiency in its M models. The decision to embrace electrification in the new M5 reflects the brand’s forward-thinking approach to powertrain technology. As advancements continue to be made in electric and hybrid systems, we can expect to see further innovation and evolution in BMW’s high-performance lineup.

In conclusion, the new BMW M5 may be heavy, but it represents a bold step towards a more sustainable and high-performance future. By prioritizing electrification and innovative powertrain solutions, BMW is setting the stage for a new era of driving excitement and performance excellence in its M models.

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