BMW M boss Friedrich Nitschke

BMW M boss Friedrich Nitschke

A few years back if you were told BMW’s hallowed M division would be launching SUVs, installing turbochargers and striving for improved fuel efficiency, you’re immediate assumption would be that the person telling you all this was crazy. Fast forward to today and we have the X5 M and X6 M duo, an M5 with engine stop-start capability, and soon a fully turbocharged lineup of M cars.

In the coming years, we’ll also be able to add all-wheel-drive cars to that list. Though previously BMW M was keen to stay clear of all-wheel drive for its car lineup (its SUVs already offer all-wheel drive), the increased sales enjoyed by close rival AMG after it launched more all-wheel-drive models has got BMW M rethinking its stance.

“I’ve looked at the numbers and 70 to 80 percent of E63 AMGs are all-wheel drive in the U.S. now,” BMW M boss Dr. Friedrich Nitschke said in an interview with Car Sales. “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.”

With a redesigned 5-Series currently in the works and due on the market sometime in 2016, it means we likely won’t see an all-wheel-drive M5 until 2017 at the earliest. An all-wheel-drive M6 would arrive even later.

Nitschke went on to explain that BMW M would make all-wheel drive an option rather than a standard feature, and that it would keep the M3 and new M4 as rear-wheel-drive cars only.

All-wheel drive would certainly help boost sales of BMW M models, especially in areas where winter means frozen roads. It would also make the cars safer for less experienced drivers and help improve acceleration times.


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