Nobody Knows if the BMW M5 Touring is Coming to America

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky

Despite having been quoted as confirming the BMW M5 Touring for North America, Domagoj Dukec has just recanted. Earlier statements from the brand’s design head stipulating that our market would have access to both the sedan and wagon versions of the M5 have been taken back — leaving everyone following the story more than a little perplexed.

For those wondering what happened, The Car Guide had reported Dukec as confirming the M5 Touring as bound for America during a Portuguese test drive of the redesigned 2024 BMW X2. When asked to confirm the statements by CarScoops, his response was said to be a very direct “No, I did not!”

This has led to all manner of speculation online, with some outlets confirming that the model is to officially remain in Europe. Some also noted that a camouflaged M5 Touring prototype had previously been spotted testing the roads in Los Angeles. However, automakers frequently run vehicles under development in places they never intend on selling them and employees sometimes leak information.

The likely scenario is that the design boss simply spoke out of turn. BMW hasn’t confirmed anything either way and likely won’t until the M5 makes its official debut later this year. The wait shouldn’t even be that long due to sustained rumors that production is supposed to commence before summer ends. But it’s probably a good idea to temper whatever excitement you may have about the M5 Touring being broadly available here. It’s likely going to retail for more than the sedan and undoubtedly going to see lower sales figures. BMW undoubtedly knows this.

Many hardcore driving enthusiasts appreciate the unassuming performance sedan. They don’t draw quite so much unwanted attention from the authorities issuing speeding tickets and are typically more practical than something that wears its sporting intentions on its sleeve. However, plenty would opt for a wagon variant if such a vehicle were provided.

Unfortunately, there’s rarely enough demand to warrant a company dealing with the logistics required to make that possible. As the best sport wagons tend to be manufactured overseas and a sound business case has to be made before the automaker is willing to make the necessary investments to export them into our market. Wagons haven’t been fashionable in North America since they were supplanted by the minivan in the 1980s. These days, we have oversized SUVs and crossovers to fill that niche and — for those seeking to maximize utility — they’re arguably the better option.

While performance geeks correctly see sport wagons as the most utilitarian platform that can still offer serious on-road performance, regular drivers will have trouble rationalizing such as purchase. The M5 is expected to start above $110,000 and that price kind of makes any additional practicality offered by the wagon irrelevant, especially on a market where you can still buy full-size luxury SUVs for roughly half that price.

Those just interested in getting a wagon will probably settle on a Subaru Outback, Volvo V60, or an Audi A6 Allroad. But there will be a subset of buyers that won’t settle for less than the Mercedes-Benz E-Class Wagon or perhaps the upcoming Audi RS6 Avant. BMW is probably wondering how many of those might opt for an M5 Touring instead.

While details have yet to be confirmed, the consensus is that M5 sedan and Touring models will come with BMW’s S63 twin-turbocharged 4.4-liter V8 in a plug-in hybrid format. Output is estimated to be somewhere north of 750 peak horsepower with some versions perhaps eclipsing 800 hp. The company’s xDrive system (all-wheel drive) will come via an eight-speed automatic and is said to be biased toward the rear axle for enhanced agility.

The rest of the vehicle will also see upgrades from the standard 5 Series, with the M5 undoubtedly receiving larger brakes, larger tires, and a broader footprint. Based on BMW’s previous performance models, we can also assume it’ll be brimming with electronic doodads to help modulate performance and cater the feel of the car to the driver’s taste. Meanwhile, the interior should mimic what we’ve seen on the current 5 Series.

There have been some rumors that the model would be capable of short stints of all-electric driving and might use the same hybrid system as the XM SUV. If that is to be the case, it should offer somewhere around 50 miles of all-electric driving before the 25.7 kWh battery needs to be recharged. But that’s speculative and none of the spy photos of leaks have helped draw any firm conclusions regarding hybridization.

With production rumored to commence sometime in July, we’re likely to have some answers relatively soon. But we would still advise against getting too hyped up about seeing the Touring come to our shores until the company makes a formal declaration on the subject.

[Image: BMW]

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Matt Posky
Matt Posky

A staunch consumer advocate tracking industry trends and regulation. Before joining TTAC, Matt spent a decade working for marketing and research firms based in NYC. Clients included several of the world’s largest automakers, global tire brands, and aftermarket part suppliers. Dissatisfied with the corporate world and resentful of having to wear suits everyday, he pivoted to writing about cars. Since then, that man has become an ardent supporter of the right-to-repair movement, been interviewed on the auto industry by national radio broadcasts, driven more rental cars than anyone ever should, participated in amateur rallying events, and received the requisite minimum training as sanctioned by the SCCA. Handy with a wrench, Matt grew up surrounded by Detroit auto workers and managed to get a pizza delivery job before he was legally eligible. He later found himself driving box trucks through Manhattan, guaranteeing future sympathy for actual truckers. He continues to conduct research pertaining to the automotive sector as an independent contractor and has since moved back to his native Michigan, closer to where the cars are born. A contrarian, Matt claims to prefer understeer — stating that front and all-wheel drive vehicles cater best to his driving style.

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3 of 26 comments
  • Tassos Tassos on Feb 15, 2024


    Thus spake the REAL Tassos.

  • Tassos Tassos on Feb 16, 2024


    The term "M5 Touring" is an oxymoron. THis model should NOT EXIST ANYWHERE.


    • ToolGuy ToolGuy on Feb 16, 2024

      +1 for genuineness, -1 for gratuitously strong language. Carry on.

  • Redapple2 H-K Styling. May not be my cup of tea but they re trying. Gripe. This would be a deal breaker. Door cut out - seat postion - 'B' pillar. I m over 6'. So the driver's seat is towards full back position. Rental Equinox last week. 1100 miles. The seat bottom to seat back point was 8 inches behind and around the 'B' pillar. I had to be contortionist to get in and out of the car. Brutal POS. Wife's Forester? Nearly equal/flush. I ve never seen 1 car review where they complain about this.
  • Lou_BC In my town the dealers are bad for marking up products, even pickups. There were multiple "mega-projects" on the go in my region so money was flowing fast and loose both by corporations and employees. All of that is coming to an end plus we've seen a pulpmill close, one pulpmill line close and a few sawmill closures. Cash is getting tight.
  • Lou_BC Branding is very powerful and effective. I always get a kick out of hardcore Harley Davidson fans. The "Jap scrap" mentality exists even in Canada. I used to get derided for riding Japanese bikes. I confused a bunch of Harley guys once when I pointed out that in Canada, Harley is just as much as a foreign import as Yamaha. They tried to argue that a Harley made in USA was not a foreign made bike. The cognitive dissonance made me laugh.
  • Ajla It's weird how surveys come to conclusions like this when about 100% of the responses then mock the results as ridiculous.
  • Jkross22 It very much depends on the dealer. Just bought a replacement for the CX9. A local dealer gave a $500 discount on a CPO car while another one gave a few thousand dollar discount but was out of the area and we had to drive 5 hours to get. The local dealer still seems to think it's 2022 and cars appreciate when sitting on the lot. I wish them luck.