After years of speculations, there are strong indications that BMW will finally offer all-wheel drive for their M5 sedan. The next-generation F90 M5 is due out in 2018 and sources say it will come with the highly-praised xDrive system. While European customers will get the xDrive as an option, the source say the U.S. market might only have the all-wheel drive version.

Currently BMW only offers the xDrive AWD used on the BMW X5 M and the X6 M. Audi and Mercedes-Benz are already offering high-performance sedans and wagons in the segment.

BMW has also hired a man who knows quite a bit about this sort of thing — Franciscus van Meel, former boss of Audi’s RS division.

“I wouldn’t like to use the word four-wheel drive because it’s always connected a little bit – emotionally – to straightforward driving and that’s not what we’re talking about,” van Meel said a few months ago. “So if we go on a direction of four-wheel drive, for us it will really be like a rear-wheel drive with more traction.”

At the time, van Meel suggested the xDrive be put in the M5 and M6, but not as a full-time 50/50 split. What he’s suggesting is that it act like the current xDrive system does now, with 100% of power going to the rear and only sending some to the front to increase grip as needed.

We expect to see the same 4.4 liter V8 turbocharged under the hood, but now developing 600 horsepower, just like the M5 “30 Jahre Edition.”

The M5 will be a lighter car, thanks to the new G30 5 Series platform. BMW has learned a lot from BMW i and CFRP and aluminum components will be at the core at all future models, not just the F90 M5.