BMW M5 Project Leader Says Company is Considering All-Wheel Drive ~ Greatest Vehicles

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

BMW M5 Project Leader Says Company is Considering All-Wheel Drive

BMW’s M Division looks set to break almost every tradition it has created in the last three decades. First it put the M badge on not one, but two SUVs – the X5 M and X6M. Then, with the new M 1 Coupe and M5 sedan, it abandoned natural aspirated engines that were a hallmark of all M coupes, cabrios and saloons no matter how many cylinders they had.
On the other hand, the M5'snew twin-turbocharged engine is more powerful, has more torque and consumes less fuel compared to its predecessor. At least, unlike future small BMWs, the company's sportiest models will continue to direct torque to the rear wheels, right?
Well, not so fast. During the new M5’s press launch in Spain, project leader Max Ahme told journalists that as power and torque figures increase, four-wheel drive may be the only possible way to harness all those ponies.

“We are thinking about it”, said Ahme. “If you are increasing power more and more, maybe you need it.” He does admit though that this solution does come with certain disadvantages.
“It’s a good idea, but it would add 120 kg to the front of the car – and it’s over the front axle”, he said. Ahme explains that the M Division has already looked at Ferrari’s solution for the FF, but will most likely adopt a more traditional all-wheel drive system.
A four-wheel drive M-badged BMW? Surely someone in Munich has lost his marbles…
Jorg Herrmann, M Division product management boss, doesn’t think so. He just wants the best, no matter what some might say: “If technology changes over time, the character of this model had to change and evolve as well.”

We already know that the next M3 will follow the M5’s lead and ditch the naturally-aspirated V8 in favor of a turbocharged six-cylinder. And of course, the upcoming M6 will use the M5’s powertrain.
If it’s any consolation to those lamenting the lost traditions, a source from within BMW revealed that the M Division is examining the possibility of building a bespoke supercar in order to compete with the R8 and the SLS AMG. But of course it’s too early to say if it will follow Audi's example and adopt AWD or stick to RWD.
Story References: Brisbane Times


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