According to a recent report from Australian publication GoAuto, the next-generation F90 BWM M5, based on the brand-new G30 5 Series, will definitely get all-wheel drive as least as an option. But, from what we’re hearing, it may be the only option.
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At the Melbourne unveiling of the G30 5 Series, a BMW insider told GoAuto that the next-gen M5 will get a rear-drive bias all-wheel drive system. “Yes, all-wheel-drive. 20:80 [torque] split,” said Sven Arens, BMW Munich’s product expert. The reason for the all-wheel drive system, according to Arens, is simply power. More specifically, torque.
“Make the calculations yourself,” said Arens. “Engines have become so powerful. For a reasonable saloon car, the cut off is 700Nm (516 lb-ft) of torque on two driven wheels.” And considering that the current M5 has 680Nm (500 lb-ft), it’s highly likely that the next M5 will far exceed that level of torque. Especially considering that the next M5 will almost certainly have 600 hp or more, the torque figure will ave to crest 700Nm. “If we are now stepping up to 600hp, which means we are going to go beyond the 700Nm of torque, only if you would use a [Michelin Pilot Sport] Cup 2 tyre would you be able to transfer that to the ground.” But then, you’d just roast the rear tires all the time and the M5 would become a Bavarian Hellcat. “But then it means your customer would come in every 5000km for new tyres. They won’t be very happy.”
It’s just time, unfortunately, for the M5 to go the route of all-wheel drive. Mercedes-AMG has made the move, another brand that had its roots firmly planted in rear-wheel drive. So, if AMG can do it, BMW can as well. “We have reached a point, for two-wheel-drive, the limit has been reached, the next step must be all-wheel drive.”
Thankfully, the man behind BMW’s M Division, Frank van Meel, knows a thing or two about making excellent all-wheel drive systems, being that he left his job at Audi’s Quattro GmbH (now Audi Sport) to work for BMW M. He also has assured BMW fans that if/when the M Division goes the all-wheel drive route, it will be done with the spirit of the brand’s history in mind.