BMW'S firebrand M5 may soon be available with all-wheel drive in order match the Audi RS6 and the Mercedes-AMG E63. A BMW M insider told Wheels that it’s highly likely we’ll see more M division vehicles putting their power to all four tyres, stretching beyond the twin-turbo V8 X5 M and X6M shown at the 2014 LA motor show.
The entire line-up of Audi’s high-performance RS range uses its quattro all-wheel drive system, offering no two-wheel drive variants whatsoever. Mercedes, too, introduced an all-wheel drive version of its BMW M5 rival, the Mercedes-AMG E63, proving that there's a substantial demand for the technology even in a traditionally rear-drive car – especially in more northern US states, Canada and the Alpine regions of Europe.
Currently, only Audi sells its all-wheel drive performance models beyond SUVs in Australia, with a version of the Mercedes-AMG E63 sending drive to all four wheels only available in left-hand drive markets.
If all-wheel drive does make it under the skin of the M5, our insider says that it’ll be a system unlike any competitor cars. BMW suggests that it will ensure the car feels and drives like a regular rear-wheel-drive M5, deploying power to the front axle only when needed, making it a more effective point-to-point machine. The proof will be in the pudding if M Division does decide to bring the all-wheel-drive M5 to the market.
While M5 may get the treatment, diehard fans of the BMW M3/M4 can rest easy – there are no plans at this stage to fit all-wheel drive to these models.