BMW is still probably about two years away from introducing the next-gen M5, but with the introduction of a new all-wheel-drive system, the automaker is making sure all of the bugs are worked out. Our latest batch of spy shots show BMW engineers still hard at work developing the 2018 BMW M5 xDrive, which will go up against other high-powered luxury sedans like the 2017 Mercedes-AMG E63, 2015 Audi Audi RS 6 and 2016 Cadillac CTS-V.

Looking at these images, not much has changed since the last time we same the new 5 Series/M5 out testing the exception that we now have the 2016 BMW 7 Series to do a visual side-by-side comparison. Despite the heavy camouflage, we can still see that the M5 will have a long nose, an upright front end and a tall, passenger-friendly roofline. At the rear of the sedan, there is almost a feeling of Audi A7, with a short, sloped decklid and the concave shape at the rear (rather than the squared-off shape shown on the 7 Series).

The body work on this prototype doesn’t seem to be all that different from standard versions of the next-gen 5 Series that we’ve seen in recent months, but that definitely won’t be the case when it comes time for production. Obvious differences include the large wheel and tire combination to make room for the bigger, cross-drilled brakes, and the rear shot of the car reveals the M-signature quad exhaust outlets.

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Why it matters

Power output is still unknown, but it is expected to be somewhere in the 600-horsepower range, but the big news is the added performance (and weight) that will come from the new xDrive all-wheel-drive system that will be offered as option. The standard 5 Series models will start showing up next year, but the M5 isn’t expected to debut until 2017.

2018 BMW M5 xDrive - spy shots

2018 BMW M5 Exterior Spyshots
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You can read our speculative review of the next M5 with xDrive here.

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