BMW M has given us hints about all-wheel drive for years now. Specifically when it comes to the M5 and M6. Now after recent comments by BMW and BMWM executives, it’s clear that the sub-brand is poised to deliver its first all-wheel drive car within the next three years. The next generation M5 (based on the G30 5 Series coming in 2017) will incorporate a modified version of BMW’s xDrive likely positioned as an option. However that won’t be the only change we see in M’s flagship.
Will it Drift?
The short answer is, we hope so. Based on early sources (and evidence found in the new X5M/X6M) the heavily revised xDrive will be more rear biased than every before. Coupled with M specific software settings that allows rear diff lock, the next M5 and M6 should offer healthy amounts of oversteer on demand.
R.I.P. Manual Transmission
The M5 (and M6) moving to an optional all-wheel drive system will necessitate a change in the transmission offered as well. Not only will it likely (finally) kill the manual option but it will also make the current 7 speed DCT incompatible. The problem is that the current DCT isn’t designed for AWD applications and thus will need to be ditched. In its place is anyone’s guess at this point but the 8 speed automatic found in the rest of the BMW range could be an option. The latest version found in the X5M/X6M featured DCT-like performance with better every day drivability. Crucially it’s also xDrive compatible.
Under the Hood
Motivating the slightly lighter M5 & M6 will be a revised version of the twin turbo V8 producing approximately 600hp. The power increase was initially rumored to come from electric turbocharging coupled with a standard unit. However sources have gone dark on that one leaving us to believe M might have simply gone old school and turned up the boost while allowing for more cooling.
When and How Much?
Don’t expect the M5 before 2017 with the M6 hitting the market a year later. Pricing will be on par with the current cars with a base price increase of around 3-4% (as is customary). Also customary will be an increased level of standard items to go along with a host of new high-tech options.