2012 BMW M5 Road Test

BMW has stated that there will be some all-wheel-drive surprises on M cars in the future. The company is facing stiff competition from the likes of Audi (quattro) and Mercedes (AMG) who are selling their AWD cars in good numbers. More and more buyers in the American and European market have started preferring all-wheel drive (AWD) over 2-wheel drive (2WD). Traditionally M cars come with a rear-wheel drive setup. So moving away from their culture might raise some eye brows for the M purists. But there is no need to get disheartened as AWD will be available as an option along with rear-wheel drive.

As of now, BMW thinks that the next generation M5 and M6 may get AWD but not the M3 or M4. But once they complete their market study and analyse the reports, we might see a press release which says otherwise. The current generation M vehicles are a delight to drive and the rear drive architecture which they possess helps one to have fun in corners. But considering that most of the sales happen in the snow belt region where customers prefer an AWD for better traction, it is a good move by BMW to consider this strategy.

M cars going AWD is going to kill its efficiency as AWDs generally requires more power than a 2WD. Maybe that is the reason the company is also considering to move away from naturally aspirated to turbocharged engines for their M cars. Turbocharging provides more power and performance that too with better fuel economy and lower emissions. The product should be balanced in a way that it does not lose its drivability and handling, compromising for efficiency and AWD. The next generation M models with AWD are expected to launch in 2017.

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