Hey, at least we're not talking hybridization!
BMW M’s CEO Frank van Meel did a recent interview with Autocar that may freak some people out. In the interview Van Meel touched on the subject of all-wheel drive, saying optional all-wheel drive was inevitable on M cars in the long run. The reason being is that these cars are getting too damn powerful! Putting 600 horsepower (or more) down solely to the rear wheels makes for a dangerous driving situation, especially in countries where the weather gets bad in winter (aka the majority of the world).
Van Meel said the system would be rear-biased and that it wouldn’t be branded xDrive. One possible name he floated is 2+2WD, which is awful but does put the focus on the fact that the car is RWD at heart. Now this technology is still a ways off, with BMW not ready to implement it in the next-generation M5. Still, it’s coming whether you like it or not. But is all-wheel drive on M cars really such a bad thing? It's not like the manual transmission is being axed. This feature would obviously add weight but it would also allow for more horsepower and give M fans to have bragging rights on Audi diehards. When it comes to hybridization Van Meel said it was out of the cards due to excess weight.
That’s a fair compromise, right? We think BMW fans won’t react to this news all that badly. Porsche is the place where diehards go to complain about turbocharging and the death of air-cooled engines. BMW has been pioneering turbocharging and other performance tech for years and its devotees have never really raised hell so long as performance didn’t suffer in the process. BMW M’s all-wheel-drive cars will likely be a hit, especially if power takes a ridiculous jump in the process. We can’t guarantee the same for that new FWD 1 Series, though.