BMW thinking about M5 all-wheel drive

Rumors | October 12th, 2011 by 28
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The topic of a BMW M5 with an all-wheel drive system comes back to focus. Recently, Albert Biermann, BMW M’s head of R&D, said that …

The topic of a BMW M5 with an all-wheel drive system comes back to focus. Recently, Albert Biermann, BMW M’s head of R&D, said that an all-wheel drive M5 is on BMW’s radar to satisfy demand from the snow belt in the U.S. where all-wheel-drive vehicles from Mercedes and Audi are selling well.

But shortly after, Biermann defused the news by saying that an all-wheel drive system will only add complexity and unnecessary weight to the already large M5.

Now, Aussie-magazine Brisbane Times quotes BMW M5 Project Leader Max Ahme who says that BMW may consider an all-wheel drive system that could help cope with the constantly increasing power and torque.

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“We’re thinking about it,” Ahme admitted at the launch of the new M5 in Spain. “If you are increasing the power more and more maybe you need it.”

Same as Biermann, the M5 project manager admits that the xDrive system comes with some major drawbacks, most notably weight and complexity.

“It’s a good idea but it would add 120kg to the car and it’s over the front axle,” he added.

Furthermore, Ahme revealed M Division engineers had examined the lightweight all-wheel drive system used on the Ferrari FF.

But how will this fit with BMW’s tradition of high-performance rear-wheel drive M cars?

M Division Product Management chief Jorg Herrmann says that the X5 M and X6 M broke the tradition with their all-wheel drive system and the company is looking at all possibilities to get the job done, if required.

An xDrive BMW M5 will compete against all-wheel-drive vehicles from Mercedes and Audi which are selling well in the United States.

28 responses to “BMW thinking about M5 all-wheel drive”

  1. Redouan_zendar says:

    A BMW is all about fun and pleasure of driving and if you ad an all wheel drive systeme in the M5 what’s the point ??? because if you can’t slide an M5 where the hell are we going ?? it’s like saying ” a diesel M5 may be possible ” ha come on BMW stop doing rubbish all we want you to do is to built cars which are very fun to drive and that’s it .

    • Arwar says:

      1. RWD can not cope with the increasing power in the super-sedan segment
      2. AWD is fun to drive and yes it can “slide”. But what is the point of “sliding”? BMW M is a precision tool, if you want to “slide”, go get a fugly japanese rwd car or something
      3. Diesel engines are torqy and powerful, they are used even in the racing today.

      • La Ma says:

        I agree.  In My opinion the fix should be lower HP and less weight and better handling with lower cost and better fuel economy.

        I mean 560HP in a family sedan ?  Seriously ? a friend who has an E60 M5 just placed the order for a new M5. She is also going to Spain to test drive it with the BMW Perfomance Center ! 
        She put a total of 25k miles on her E60 M5 in 5 years.   Do you think she needs more HP ?

        Majority of the people who buys these cars do not use more then half the HP. There should be a model with a smaller engine but the one that looks like an M5. Sort of like a poser :-) 

        its nice to have all that power I just don’t know where one can use it besides on the track where not many people will run M5’s with 100grand price tag on. Besides that the F10 is heavy, so an E92 will outrun it with 414HP anyway.
        so yes its nice and a great car and all that but I would not get one. I will enjoy it when I drive it on a Performance Center track and abuse the power, but I do not need/want it for the everyday driving.

        • Mateo says:

          I 10000% agree with you, who needs 500+ sedan? Nobody, M5 was Ok in E28/E34/E39 models, it’s fine as E60 M5 because that car was simply EPIC and it wasn’t for everyone – and it was a bit complicated but it was 100% M, M engine, M gearbox, M button, M iDrive settings…..thats what M cars should be today, very light, high rev NA engines, manual gearbox – for others who want “everyday saloon with 500 hp” bmw should simply made 560i M sport which would have tuneds suspension and more power from 4.4 V8. Simply make tuned 550i and name it 560i M sport!!!

        • Wazon says:

          If you are satisfied by – say – 400hp saloon, you can always go for 550i with refined suspension, but why do you think that your preferences should be obligatory for what car makers are going to produce or what customers are going to buy, is beyond me. I know what I would do with 560ps saloon.

          Have you seen M5 lap time? You should reconsider your view on its relation to m3 e92.

    • Jom Beam says:

      It’s all the glory of the badge and the safety of AWD. What’s the probelm here? You ‘enthusiasts’ seem to think that you are the ruling majority. Get a Porsche FFS.

  2. gelo says:

    Please, like you know anything about BMW’s or even fast cars.  I bet you couldn’t even afford an M5 in your entire lifetime.  I have an E60 M5 and a R35 GT-R.  With the amount of torque the F10 M5 is pushing out, AWD would be great.

    Poor people shouldn’t comment on things that they will never afford.

    • David Baker says:

      I had the joy of getting a taxi ride on the Nürburgring
      In a X6 M before it was launched and we for sure got the car to drift
      With the xDrive System. xDrive in the M5? For everyday driving, OK. For the “Green Hell”? Hell no!

    • StraightSix says:

      You are poor in your head.

  3. Maxviva79 says:

    NO NO NO NO….. NO WAY…. please don’t do this… ///M brand losing its identity big time. First its Turbo engines… second its automatic trans… then its SUVs…. Sharing engine with normal series cars…. and now AWD???? oh come on.

  4. Donaldduck says:

    IF BMW does this then all hope is lost. lol
    they are idiots that think the public will continue buying their sausages no matter the length/weight, and bargain bin parts they have inside.

    Then again, for a real sports car, might as well switch to a Cayman or Carrera. BMW has become too green, and too idiotic.

  5. Mateo says:

    i don’t care what bmw will made – actually i just wonder when will i see this on bmwblog :

    Recently, Albert Biermann, BMW M’s head of R&D, said that an ///M tractor is on BMW’s radar to satisfy demand from the farmers in the U.S. where tractor vehicles from John Deere and Massey Ferguson are selling well.

    also, i’m gald merc e60amg is better than new m5 (at least in this comparison)
    and funny thing is how TG says that new audi S8 is heavy car while M5 which is A6 competitor and is only 30 kg lighter isn’t. lol

  6. Giom says:

    My goodness, there’s a lot of drama queens driving BMWs it seems. For peets sake, BMW needs to make cars that people want! I’ve said it many times before, if BMW only caters for the 5% hard core enthusiasts, it would have died a long time ago.

    BMW still supply us with the greatest driving cars on the planet! If they need to expand that collection with more cars that will sell well, LET THEM! You can still buy what YOU like. Bottom line… because of BMWs willingness to diversify, the company will be around for a long time – stop being so short seighted already!

    • Mateo says:

      but don’t forget that BMW wasn’t sold to Daimler and is still independent because of those enthusiasts. Today, bmw care just about money, they can live fine without X6, 5GT, M this, M that but they want MORE money- thats all, even ford has less cars and they are doing just fine!

      • LexusLVR says:


        BMW wants more money? No shit. How do you think they live another day to produce more products that people want?

        All car brands are about making money. They’re businesses. BUSINESSES. Do you know what a business is? Half the crap a business tells you in their marketing is just that – crap. In this case BMW tells you that they’re the ultimate driving machine. LOL, you gotta be stupid to believe that. Any Porsche will destroy any regular BMW anywhere at anytime. And a hardcore top end Porsche product like a GT3 RS will KILL any BMW M product. There are so many better drivers cars out there than what BMW offers. And yet you clowns still believe that a 318i is a better drivers car than a Porsche Cayman S! LMAO

        • Mateo says:

          lol, your funny and of course very true, bmw’s Ultimate driving machine was OK until late 2000s when these FAT cars started to be produced. BMW and Merc was ONLY true BIG brands, merc was more lux. and bmw was more sporty. today- they are just brands!

          • LexusLVR says:

            BMW still makes cool cars. The problem is this:

            BMW customers are:

            95% CUSTOMERS
            5% ENTHUSIASTS

            A business cannot survive by catering to enthusiasts. Every brand has enthusiasts and they are ALWAYS in the minority. Always! BMW had to soften up the 5er because they were loosing sales to Mercedes, Lexus, Audi etc. Customers wanted more comfort and less sport. BMW still makes enthusiast cars like the M products, the 3er and the 1er but the other BMW cars are geared towards customers, not enthusiasts. 

          • Mateo says:

            again, your true. What you said are simply facts – and nobody can argue with that, i’m just kind a sad cause ///M was more than AMG, RS, V etc. and it’s becoming one of them, regular bmw’s with turbo, automatic etc. are fine. I like them a lot cause they are outstanding but ///M….it should be something more than tune up 3/5 series as i said before, E60 M5 had own engine, gearbox, etc while new doesn’t and it can’t be special even it’s faster, safer and overall better than E60 – isn’t the point of M car to be special cause who needs 500+ car? Nobody!
            CTS-V is tuned CTS with corvette engine, AMG is tuned E with AMG tuned engine, RS6 is tuned A6 with lambo engine and M5 was more than tuned 5 Series!

            i’m just saying something as a fan. But again, your 100% right

  7. wazon says:

    As long as they will keep RWD M5, I am ok with its xDrive version. I just wouldn’t buy it.

  8. La Ma says:

    who cares ? the future is AWD electric cars which drive themselves.   build it put a diesel hybrid in it and sell it for $285,000 if there will be some rich smucks who buys this why not ?

  9. PHZ says:

    What all wheel drive vehicle from Mercedes competes against the M5?
    The E63 and CLS63 are rear wheel drive..
    And what well selling all wheel drive Audi competes against the M5?
    The RS6 is not sold in the USA!

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