In a surprise move, BMW M ‘s head of R&D, Albert Biermann told AutoCar a bit about future M offerings.

“Turbocharging provides more power and performance but with better fuel economy and emissions,” says Albert Biermann, BMW M’s head of R&D. The V8 is the same ‘S63′ unit used in the X5 M and X6 M, but with revised induction and exhausts for sharper throttle response and a more solid top end. Biermann also stated,“There will be some all-wheel-drive surprises on M cars in the future.”

Many have concluded that his comment about M going 4 wheeling was directed at only the ///M5, which is set to make its public debut in a few weeks at Sahnghai but we take that to mean that M is looking into offering more models (outside just the X5 and X6) in all wheel drive. The M5 being offered in all wheel drive is no surprise as many of the early spy videos showed the car getting power on the tarmac a little too even to be rear wheel drive. When Alpina created an xDrive version of their flagship B7 the writing was on the wall that M would likely follow suit. If you read between the lines this may also indicate that to the chagrin of many enthusiasts the X3 may be offered in an M version as well as the the next 3 series.These two platforms are intertwined and dollars spenton one can easily translate to the other for the most part so it just makes sense to build one thinking about the other.

The fact is that the “snow belt ” accounts for much of BMWs sales figures and many in that region prefer all wheel drive (thanks to other brands spending marketing dollars to push AWD) so BMW and M needs to heed to the buyers wishes. BMW has been selling more xDrive vehicles over the past few years, actually selling more AWD than even Audi. Does this mean that BMW M has gone from naturally aspirated and rear wheel drive to boosted AWD overnight? We doubt it, as the main reason for going to turbos was for emissions/efficiency reasons. Adding AWD always kills efficiency so unless M has designed a system that is only active at the push of a button (engagement driver selectable), or intelligent enough to not add much weight or drag how are they going to get the MPG numbers where they want in an AWD vehicle?

Source: Autocar