The M5 wagon could return after more than six years

A brand-new BMW 5 Series has already been unveiled for the 2017 model year and the new M5 just arrived for 2018. With a new platform, an all-wheel-drive system, and a new V-8, there’s plenty to get excited about the new M5, but the really big news is that BMW may bring the wagon back after more than six years. Granted, the high-performance wagon has become a very rare breed and there aren’t significant signs that this may change in the future, but even though the M5 sedan is by far the more popular choice here, some enthusiasts, me included, are getting pretty excited at the thought of seeing a new M5 Touring in dealerships. That said, I think that this rumor deserves a bit more attention and we even created a rendering to go with our speculative review.

The M5 Touring’s return is quite the big deal for a nameplate that had a wagon body style only for brief periods of time. Although the first M5 arrived in 1985, a grocery getter wasn’t offered until 1989, when the second generation arrived. When the E34 was discontinued in 1995, the M5 Touring also went into the history books, as the third-gen M5 was sold as a sedan only. The Touring model had to wait until 2005 to see the light of day again, and caused quite a sensation thanks to its gorgeous looks (it was a Bangle, ironically) and massive V-10 under the hood. It’s been six years since the M5 Touring was discontinued for the second time, and the beefed-up midsize wagon might return to give the Mercedes-AMG E63 Wagon and the Audi RS6 Avant a run for their money. The good news is it could cross the pond to the U.S. too.

Updated 09/28/2017: We have a new rendering of the M5 Touring, as well as updated information about the performance wagon. Check it out below.

Continue reading to learn more about the BMW M5 Touring.

Exterior

2019 BMW M5 Touring Exterior Exclusive Renderings Computer Renderings and Photoshop
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The M5 Touring will look more aggressive than its predecessor.

Having already seen the M5 sedan, picturing the next M5 Touring is easier than it sounds. That’s because the wagon will have identical styling cues, including the larger kidney grille and longer, sleeker headlamps that start right at the edge of the trademark grille. The front bumper will be sculpted in a way similar with a trapezoidal center intake and large side outlets. Naturally, the engine will be covered by a bulged hood, while the kidney grille and the front fender gills will be finished in black.

2018 BMW M5 High Resolution Exterior
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... Or the new flat red!
2019 BMW M5 Touring Exterior Exclusive Renderings Computer Renderings and Photoshop
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BMW M5 BMW M5 Touring

Around back, look for the sleeker taillights of the new 5 Series wagon and a reshaped tailgate, a revised bumper, and a sporty diffuser with two exhaust pipes at each corner. Other notable changes should include revised side skirts, new wheel designs (some offered in two-tone color schemes), and a few brand-new exterior paints. As it is the case with all new BMWs, the M5 Touring will look more aggressive than its predecessor, especially when seen from the front (including in the rear-view mirror). All told, expect a sporty wagon that will give the Mercedes-AMG E63 and Audi RS6 Avant a run for their money design-wise.

Renderings

2019 BMW M5 Touring
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2019 BMW M5 Touring Exterior Exclusive Renderings Computer Renderings and Photoshop
- image 685431

Renderings above are a good way to compare how we imagined the M5 Touring would look like before the new 5 Series was launched and how it should look if the German firm decides to build one. The grey car is a rendering made by our artist long before the latest 5 Series was launched. We knew some of the cues it will get, like the headlamps connected to the kidney grille, and the overall sportier design, but we designed a tad different than the actual M5. For instance, the headlamps are a bit more angular and shaped almost like a hockey stick, with the outer section moving upward as it exist the fascia. We also designed larger side vents and an engine hood that opens above the BMW roundel on the nose.

The second rendering, finished in blue, is a more accurate depiction of the M5 Touring, as it is based on the actual M5 sedan. We can see the correct headlamps, the engine hood that opens just above the kidney grille, and the more deeply sculpted bumper and vents. The wagon’s profile also looks sportier thanks to the deep crease that defines the beltline from the front wheel arch toward the taillights. Needless to say, if BMW decides to build the M5 Touring, it will be one sexy grocery getter.

Interior

2018 BMW M5 High Resolution Interior
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Note: BMW M5 interior shown here.

Following in the footsteps of other recent BMW interiors from the M division, the upcoming M5 should come with plenty of M badges on almost every seat and panel, along with sportier bucket seats exclusive to the model. Merino leather upholstery should be standard, with BMW Individual semi-aniline leather to be offered optionally. It should also feature a lot of dark chrome work, a flat-bottom steering wheel, and even some carbon-fiber trim. Naturally, all these goodies will adorn the new cabin design that debuted on the standard 5 Series.

2018 BMW M5 High Resolution Interior
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Fancy M seats ...

Note: BMW M5 interior shown here.

Much like the M5 sedan, the wagon will get sporty seats with 20-way adjustability.

As we already saw when BMW unveiled the 5 Series in October 2016, the new design is evolutionary and borrows heavily from the larger 7 Series. The dash is clean and simple, but comes in a two-tone finish and with real wood on the passenger side. The new dashboard design increases room for the driver and front passenger, with further comfort coming from the additional storage spaces in the door pockets and the revised storage compartment in front of the cup holders.

Much like the M5 sedan, the wagon will get sporty seats with 20-way adjustability and ventilation and massage functions. Technology-wise, the new 5 Series is equipped with a high-resolution, 10.25-inch screen that provides access to navigation, phone, vehicle functions, and entertainment features. BMW also offers the latest version of gesture control in the 5 Series, but this feature could come standard with the M5 Touring. The new Advanced Real-Time Traffic with navigation instructions provides access to a wealth of information projected onto the windshield. Finally, the wagon will also be equipped with wireless charging, Apple CarPlay, and WiFi hotspot.

With the wheelbase slightly longer on the new 5 Series, the overall interior volume should be a bit larger in the M5 Touring as well, gaining a couple of inches for legroom and shoulder room. The trunk should also grow a bit and offer the most luggage room ever found in a 5 Series wagon. Although this hauler wears an M badge, it still needs to haul a lot of groceries, bags, and big suitcases, no?

Drivetrain

2018 BMW M5 High Resolution Drivetrain
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...And what the badge really means!

Note: BMW M5 engine shown here.

The twin-turbocharged unit was revised for the new M5 and now cranks out 591 horsepower and 553 pound-feet of torque.

It’s safe to assume that the M5 Touring will get the exact same drivetrain as the sedan, so expect a 4.4-liter V-8 under the hood. The twin-turbocharged unit was revised for the new M5 and now cranks out 591 horsepower and 553 pound-feet of torque. These figures make it 58 horses and 51 pound-feet more potent than the previous M5, but at the same time, it’s "only" as powerful as the outgoing M5 Performance Package. However, while the latter was also rated at 591 horsepower, torque was at 516 pound-feet, so there is a 37 pound-feet gain.

The V-8 will mate to a new eight-speed, M Steptronic automatic transmission with Drivelogic, but the big news here is that power will travel to all four wheels. For the very first time, the M5 gained an all-wheel-drive system, and even though it can still be used in a RWD setup, it still makes it an AWD car by default. This is actually good news, as both the Mercedes-AMG E63 Wagon and Audi RS6 Avant come with AWD as standard.

The big news here is that power will travel to all four wheels.

The wagon will also feature a new Active M differential that will enable the driver to choose from five different configurations based on the DSC and M xDrive modes. Specifically, you can combine DSC on, MDM, and DSC Off with 4WD, 4WD Sport, and 2WD. This should make the M5 Touring a pretty versatile car.

Performance-wise, expect the wagon to be a tad slower than the sedan. The four-door needs 3.9 seconds to hit 62 mph from a standing start, so it’s safe to assume that the grocery getter will complete the benchmark in four clicks. Not bad! Top speed will be limited to 155 mph in standard guise and at least 180 mph with M Driver’s Package.

Prices

2019 BMW M5 Touring Exterior Computer Renderings and Photoshop Exclusive Renderings
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Because the current-generation M5 isn’t avaialble as a wagon, estimating a starting price for the next-gen model is pretty difficult. However, it’s safe to assume that it will be a lot more expensive than the current range-topping M5 Touring that’s sold in Europe. The most expensive gasoline model, the 550i Touring, starts from €75,700, while the priciest diesel variant, the M550d Touring, retails from €85,100. Based on these figures, the upcoming M5 Touring could retail from around €110,000. Should it come to the United States, expect it to fetch at least $100,000 before options. Unfortunately, this isn’t very likely to happen.

Competition

Mercedes-AMG E63 S Wagon

2018 Mercedes-AMG E 63 S Wagon High Resolution Exterior
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2018 Mercedes-AMG E 63 S Wagon High Resolution Exterior
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Unlike BMW, Mercedes-Benz hasn’t lost faith in high-performance midsize wagons and the latest E-Class Wagon received the AMG treatment. The beefed-up grocery getter is a slightly more aggressive iteration of the Merc’s already gorgeous wagon and packs quite a punch under the hood. And that’s on top of its fancy interior, state-of-the-art technology, and enhanced room for rear-seat passengers and in the luggage compartment. Available in E63 S guise only, the German wagon uses a twin-turbo, 4.0-liter V-8 to move about. The unit sends 603 horsepower and 627 pound-feet of torque to all four wheels through an AMG SpeedShift, nine-speed automatic and a 4Matic all-wheel drive system. Sprinting from 0 to 60 mph takes only 3.4 seconds, while top speed is rated at an amazing 180 mph. And yes, unlike the M5 Touring, the E63 Wagon is available in the United States. Pricing starts from $106,950 before options.

Learn more about the Mercedes-AMG E63 S.

Volvo V90

2017 Volvo V90 High Resolution Exterior
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2017 Volvo V90 High Resolution Exterior
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Unveiled for the 2017 model year, the V90 is essentially the E-Class Wagon’s sole competitor for the midsize market in the United States. Design-wise, the V-90 is identical to the S90 sedan save for the boxier, wagon-style rear end. But, unlike its predecessor, the V80, the new Volvo has a sportier design, enhanced luggage room, and a more luxurious interior. It’s able to compete with the Mercedes-AMG E63 S or the upcoming BMW M5 Touring in just about any department, except of performance. That’s because the V90 doesn’t have a performance version yet and its most powerful iteration is the T8, which is actually a hybrid. Motivated by a 2.0-liter four-cylinder that both turbocharged and supercharged, and an electric motor, the V90 T8 comes with 400 horsepower and 472 pound-feet of torque. That’s decent output for a wagon, but far off the 600 horses you get from Mercedes-Benz. U.S. pricing is not yet available, but it will be the most affordable of the bunch.

Find out more about the Volvo V90.

Audi RS6 Avant

2016 Audi RS6 Avant Performance
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2016 Audi RS6 Avant Performance
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The RS6 Avant is Audi’s main weapon for this tight niche. But unfortunately for high-performance wagon enthusiasts, it is not available Stateside. And what a big shame it is, because this German grocery getter has a stunning design and hides a turbocharged, 4.0-liter V-8 engine under its hood. The unit pumps 560 horsepower and 516 pound-feet to the wheels through a dual-clutch transmission and a Quattro AWD system, enabling the wagon to hit 60 mph from a standing start in 3.8 seconds. Top speed is obviously rated at 155 mph. There’s also a Performance model that’s even more powerful at 605 horses and a tenth-second quicker to 60 mph. Pricing starts from €112,000 for the RS6 Avant and €118,000 for the Performance model in Germany, which converts to around $132,000 and $139,050 as of September 2017.

Read our full review of the Audi RS6 Avant and RS6 Avant Performance.

Conclusion

2019 BMW M5 Touring Exterior Exclusive Renderings Computer Renderings and Photoshop
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Although there’s no official confirmation that the new-generation 5 Series will spawn an M5 Touring, the high-performance wagon is likely to return. After all, it’s been six years since BMW discontinued it, while Mercedes-Benz and Audi are getting all the customers in this niche. Sure, high-performance, midsize wagons are low-volume cars that aren’t likely to become extremely popular anytime soon, but my bet is that BMW doesn’t want to completely abandon this market just yet. An M5 with a big trunk sounds like a win-win combination to me and BMW should feel the same.

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    • * Not yet confirmed for production
    • * Might not make it to the U.S.
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