“The M5 and M6, maybe in the next generation they could get AWD, but not with the M3 or M4. Never,” says BMW M CEO Dr. Friedrich Nitschke in an interview for Motoring.
BMW M’s rivals, Mercedes-Benz AMG and Audi’s RS division, offer an all-wheel-drive setup for their high-performance sedans and coupes, and the question has come up when BMW will join the club.
“I’ve looked at the numbers and 70 to 80 percent of E63 AMGs are all-wheel drive in the US now,” Dr. Friedrich Nitschke said to the same magazine. .
“On our cars we are thinking of all-wheel drive, but it won’t come before we get the successor of the M5 and M6.
“That’s the timing and it’s not practical to react in the current life cycles. It would also be an additional option, not the only available model, because a lot of M buyers prefer rear-wheel drive.”
The next generation BMW M5 and M6 will most likely make extensive use of carbon fiber and aluminum, and are slotted to arrive, based on the 7-year production cycle, sometimes in 2018.
What about the faster 0 to 62 mph times reported by the competitors? Audi’s RS6 Avant and RS7, Porsche’s Panamera Turbo and the all-wheel drive version of Mercedes-Benz’s fastest E63 AMG variant all reports sprints of between 3.7 and 3.9 seconds. The M5 and M6 even with the Competition Package run to 62 mph in 4.2 seconds. Dr. Nitschke says that the value of the Competition Package lays somewhere else.
“If you look at our Competition Package for the M5, it’s lighter and more focused and they are the advantages we have, not a fraction of acceleration here or there,” the M President insisted.
“It’s not all as simple as it seems. If you look at Audi, they had no choice but to make a rear-wheel drive car so they might as well do all-wheel drive. AMG made a decision to go that way and it seems to work for them, but we are not all the same.”
Back in 2011, Albert Biermann, M Head of Engineering, said at the time that no xDrive will come in the current F10 M5
, so we will have to wait until 2018 to see what M’s plans are for the super sporty sedan.