The new M5 has been spotted testing around the Nurburgring, with the car featuring a cleaner, smaller engine but a ten per cent power boost over the current model.
The super-saloon will likely get the same 4.4-litre V8 to that found in the X6 M SUV, but it will be tweaked to give a unique character.
A raft of clever “active” aerodynamics features are also planned for the M5 to make it more slippery.
BMW believes a 10 per cent reduction in drag reduces fuel consumption by 2.5 per cent, and the 2011 M5 could get flaps that open and close on its body to alter air flow.
The wheelbase is expected to be 10mm longer than the current car's, but despite the larger dimensions BMW wants the new M5 to be the same weight as the current M5’s 1830kg.
BMW denies giving the car a four-door coupe shape but it has smooth, flowing roofline that extends far back along the car.
As you can see from our spy shots the M5 will get huge drilled discs to provide formidable stopping power.
The direct injection V8 will have twin-scroll twin turbochargers with an output of around 540bhp.
A BMW source said: “The M division will start from the ground up instead of just taking the lump from another car. Customers would expect something different.”
This will be mated to either a six-speed manual or the BMW M DCT.