Latest spy content from the ‘Ring shows the new BMW M5 with a different front bumper.

Even though this is only an early prototype, it seems the proportions have already improved compared to the outgoing BMW M5. The car has many provisional parts, including the front and rear lighting clusters, but it does seem to have a new front bumper. It still remains partially hidden under the swirly camouflage, but even so you can still see the large air vents which aid cooling of what will likely be an upgraded 4.4-liter M TwinPower Turbo V8 engine.

While in the sold-out M5 “30 Jahre M5” the eight-cylinder engine puts out a mighty 600 hp, in the next M5 (G80) it could be taken to somewhere in the region of 626 hp. Perhaps more important, the next-generation M5 will likely be offered for the first time in the model’s prolific history with an optional xDrive all-wheel drive system. This will obviously add some weight, but it’s going to be offset by switching the next 5 Series to the CLAR platform which should enable an estimated diet of up to 220 pounds (100 kilograms).

In terms of performances, we expect the new M5 in rear-wheel drive guise to achieve a sprint to 62 mph (100 kph) in 3.7 or 3.8 seconds. We are making this estimation based on the fact the 30 Jahre M5 needs 3.9 seconds. Top speed will likely get close to the 200 mph (322 kph) mark taking into account the special edition is able to top out at 190 mph (305 kph).

BMW M has been testing the new M5 for quite some time, even though the regular next-gen 5 Series has not been revealed yet. This could mean the range-topping model will arrive relatively early in the model’s life cycle. With the standard 5 Series set for an October debut in Paris, followed by the 5 Series Touring early next year, we could see the M5 being launched by the end 2017.

2017 BMW M5 spy photos