Exclusive Review: The 2024 BMW i5 M60 xDrive Redefines Electric Luxury Performance
As traditional M cars push the limits of stiffness and speed, the 2024 BMW i5 M60 xDrive steps in to bridge the gap, offering exhilarating performance without compromising daily comfort.
Over the past two decades, BMW’s lineup has grown in size with each new model release. The latest 7-Series, for instance, now rivals the dimensions of a Rolls-Royce Ghost. This trend extends to the all-new 5-Series, transforming it from a mid-size luxury sedan into a full-size powerhouse. Yet, this expansion poses challenges for BMW’s M division.
The dilemma? How to infuse a large, hefty sedan with the agility and responsiveness of a sports car. While models like the M8 Competition employ powerful engines, rigid suspension components, and high-grip tires to achieve sports car-like handling, the trade-off often comes at the expense of comfort. Enthusiasts are left to choose between spirited performance on winding roads and daily driving ease.
Addressing the elephant in the room – the i5 M60’s size – the eighth-generation 5-Series is now larger, yet it manages its dimensions gracefully. With a well-proportioned front grille, a tall shoulder line, larger wheels, and elongated horizontal tail lights, the M60 maintains a sleek appearance despite its expanded footprint.
As the sportiest model in the lineup, the M60 features sharper front and rear bumpers, gloss black extended rocker panels, and five distinct wheel designs. Optional enhancements, like the M Sport Professional package, contribute darkened headlights, gloss black exterior trim, and a rear spoiler. Inside, the i5 M60 boasts a standard three-spoke steering wheel and sport seats.
Enter the 2024 BMW i5 M60 xDrive, poised to fill this performance gap. Boasting 593 horsepower from dual electric motors, it sprints to 60 MPH in just 3.7 seconds, delivering a luxurious driving experience with standard air suspension, a near-silent cabin, and responsive controls. While it may not match the outright supercar performance of an M5, the M60 strikes a perfect balance.
In a departure from recent styling choices, the 2024 BMW i5 M60 xDrive stands out as a genuinely attractive four-door, embracing a more traditional design approach. Simultaneously simple and sporty, it remains instantly recognizable as a BMW.
While these options enhance the visual appeal, they don’t compromise the driving experience of the quickest 5-Series. The M60’s standard air suspension remains untouched, and even the obligatory sports seats maintain a plush and spacious feel.
Impressive with its 593 horsepower, the BMW i5 M60 xDrive sets itself apart in a market flooded with high-power EVs. Priced at €78,397, it outperforms competitors like the €99,552 Mercedes-AMG EQE Sedan and the €78,402 Lucid Air Touring in both output and 0-60 acceleration (3.7 seconds). The only contender that comes close is the $77,301 Lucid Air Pure AWD, but it lags in both speed and power.
Powered by two electric motors – one per axle – the i5 delivers 549 pound-feet of torque. Engaging the M Sport Boost, available with a push of the boost paddle, temporarily raises this figure to 605 LB-FT. The i5 reaches an electronically limited top speed of 143 MPH (with performance tires) or 130 MPH (with all-season tires).
Beyond the performance figures, the BMW i5 M60 xDrive stands out for its suspension setup. While it may not be the top choice for spirited drives, its softer suspension makes it an exceptional daily driver. Owners will likely appreciate its comfort in stop-and-go traffic and its ability to absorb road imperfections, even if the handling isn’t as sharp.
The interior complements this driving character, featuring a layout reminiscent of the latest 7 Series. Mood lighting, dual curved displays, and crystal-style controls add to the visual appeal. The cabin’s materials impress with both aesthetics and tactile quality, offering extensive customization options with various textures and colors.
Whether opting for the BMW i5 M60 or the standard model, both share the same 81.2-kilowatt-hour battery pack. The i5’s range varies based on wheel designs, with the most efficient variant, the eDrive40 with 19-inch wheels, reaching up to 295 miles on a charge. The M60’s estimate ranges from 240 to 256 miles, depending on the selected wheel and tire package. Fast charging at up to 205 kilowatts allows the i5 to go from 10 to 80 percent in about 30 minutes.
In many aspects, the 2024 i5 M60 xDrive represents a departure from the typical BMW formula. It’s a sizable, luxurious sedan with a near-silent demeanor, delivering a driving experience more aligned with full-size luxury models. Yet, despite its overall softness and less defined handling, the M60’s increased power output ensures straight-line acceleration on par with rivals from Mercedes-Benz and Lucid.
The BMW i5 M60 strikes a unique balance, offering plushness and power. Positioned between the upcoming M5 and the base i5, this range-topping 5-Series caters to those seeking occasional straight-line excitement within the confines of a well-appointed, calm cruiser.