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Unread 10-04-2013, 10:24 AM   #1
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BMW rethinks all-wheel-drive M cars

Filed under: Coupe, Sedan, Performance, BMW, Luxury

BMW M hasn't been able to decide whether it wants to jump on the all-wheel-drive bandwagon or not (with the exceptions of the X5 M and the X6 M, which are based on AWD architecture). That might be changing though, since M's president Friedrich Nitschke recently realized that 70 to 80 percent of Mercedes-Benz E63 AMGs are ordered with all-wheel drive. Earlier this year, Nitschke said that there were no new AWD M models planned, so this comes as somewhat of a surprise.

"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," Nitschke said in a Motoring report. "That's the timing and it's not practical to react in the current life cycles."
"On our cars we are thinking of all-wheel drive." - Friedrich Nitschke, BMW

Nitschke says that obtaining a faster 0-60 miles-per-hour time isn't why BMW M is considering AWD option for the M5 and M6. But one has to wonder if that's part of the division's reasoning when the Audi RS6 Avant and RS7, the Porsche Panamera Turbo and the top Mercedes E63 AMG all perform the sprint in under 4.0 seconds with AWD, when the fastest M5 can only do it in 4.2 seconds.

The M division traditionally has been shaped by rear-wheel drive sports cars and sedans with powerful, naturally aspirated engines of bespoke designs that didn't make their way into regular production BMWs. In recent years, however, M has been straying from its roots, replacing the M5's Formula One-derived V10 with a more pedestrian (but more powerful) twin-turbo V8, coming out with the aforementioned AWD M sports utility vehicle and crossover and equipping the upcoming M3 sedan and M4 coupe with a twin-turbocharged straight six to replace the current naturally aspirated V8.

Before the current generation M5 was released in late 2011, BMW had reportedly been toying with plans to make an AWD version, but this latest report confirms that BMW will wait until the next generation comes out.

For the M purists out there, Nitschke reportedly assures you that the M3 and M4 will "never" come with AWD, because, he says, "To accelerate out of corners with this rear-end architecture concept is so fantastic that it [all-wheel drive] is not needed." Instead of taking his word on that, we'll just wait another four to six months and see if the story has changed.BMW rethinks all-wheel-drive M cars originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 04 Oct 2013 11:02:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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