Report: New BMW M5 will let drivers switch between rear- and all-wheel-drive modes

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2018 BMW M5 spy shots - Image via S. Baldauf/SB-Medien

BMW is in the final stages of development of a new M5 and we hear the car will be unlike any of its predecessors.

That’s because the car will be coming with an all-wheel-drive system, which was confirmed by M boss Frank van Meel in 2015.

But to appease more traditional buyers that prefer the dynamics that only a rear-wheel-drive car can bring, Bimmertoday reports that the new M5 will have a feature that allows the driver to switch into a rear-wheel-drive mode where 100 percent of the drive torque is sent to the rear wheels only.

Such axle disconnect features are nothing new, though they’re mostly implemented to help save fuel by reducing parasitic losses. The M5’s is there to make things more fun.

2018 BMW M5 spy shots - Image via S. Baldauf/SB-Medien

2018 BMW M5 spy shots - Image via S. Baldauf/SB-Medien

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With the new M5 expected to deliver around 600 horsepower, it’s easy to understand why the M engineers decided to add all-wheel drive. It will make the car appeal more to drivers in areas where winter means icy roads. It will also aid acceleration thanks to the extra traction of the all-wheel-drive system.

The all-wheel-drive equipped E63 S from Mercedes-AMG, rated at 603 hp, needs just 3.3 seconds to hit 60 mph. The outgoing M5, even with 600 hp, needs 3.7 seconds to achieve the same feat.

While power on the new M5 might not be up significantly compared to the outgoing model, the good news is that the new car should be lighter due to its multi-material construction. Then again, the added weight of the all-wheel-drive system could make the difference negligible.

The new M5 is expected to debut in 2017, as a 2018 model.

 
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