The BMW’s M division is well-known for making the already faster Bavarian luxury cars into something even more sporty and fun to drive. The basics are that the cars will get dedicated bodykit, spurred up engine sending power to the rear-wheels with the focal point to become a driver-focussed ground hugger.
However, as time changes any car maker would have to adapt to the recent trends and live by them for survival. BMW and its M division are no different as the performance arm’s boss has conceded that there will be plenty of new stuff going into the future cars without damaging the driving traits.
It includes the introduction of all-wheel drive system and the increased use of autonomous technology. In a conversation with Autocar, the M division’s CEO Frank van Meel admitted that for the powerful cars like the M5, the all-wheel drive system could be a necessity but the core values of making rear-wheel drive cars will not be shaken off.
He emphasised that increased power output in the M cars over the years means there must something be done to tame them. He conceded that the company finding it hard to sell them with 600 odd ponies in markets like Switzerland and Canada.
The M division head added that the engineers are working tirelessly to bring everything stabilised by improving the stability control, torque vectoring and traction control systems. It would be inevitable in the long-term to completely rule out the option of a four-wheel drive configuration, at least in the high-performance cars like M5 and M6.
Such kind of optional all-wheel drive models won’t be branded xDrive and Van Meel hinted at using names like 2+2WD to put the significance on rear-obsessed setup. It is not easy to integrate the i-brand electric powertrain into M cars without weight penalty as adding 150 kilos would come at the expense of handling said the CEO.
The electric technology will be fed into the M models as customers want more performance with less emission but only for the future cars. The next generation BMW 5-Series will stick with the autonomous systems currently under practice in the 7 Series and the 48V electric architecture will allow for an advanced anti-collision system and fully autonomous braking among others.
Putting all the pieces together in the puzzle, the next-gen M5 is more likely to be rear-wheel driven only with inclusion of certain autonomous technology but its successor could be something entirely different.