It sure looks that way.
What could the next-gen BMW M5 and the show "Friends" possibly have in common? Both the upcoming sedan and the iconic TV comedy were dominated by a will they/won't they sub-plot. For "Friends" it was whether or not Ross and Rachel would get together. For BMW it's whether or not the new M5 will have all-wheel drive. Much like "Friends," everyone knows how this one will end. In a recent chat with Australia's GoAuto, BMW product expert Sven Arens, told the outlet that the next M5 would indeed feature AWD.
The conversation took place at a small event in Melbourne, Australia, where the new 5 Series was shown off in the metal. (Another Aussie outlet, Motoring, has shots of it.) In response to a question about the performance sedan featuring AWD with a rear-heavy bias, Arens confirmed what we all knew: Ross and Rachel do indeed wind up together. Wait, that's not right. "Yes, all-wheel-drive. 20:80 [torque] split," he told GoAuto. So far no one from BMW has come right out and said that the next M5 will send power to all four wheels, although there have been hints dropped. Remember that BMW M CEO Frank van Meel told Autocar that AWD was inevitable on all M cars in the long run because the cars are getting too damn powerful.
Arens offered much the same explanation. "Make the calculations yourself. Engines have become so powerful. For a reasonable saloon car, the cut off is 700Nm (516 lb-ft) of torque on two driven wheels," he said. In addition to giving the details on the AWD system, the potentially ex-BMW product man also talked about what would be powering the brute. "It is going to be a V8, obviously," he said. "Double turbo. Modelled around 600 horsepower (447kW)." OK, so now we know basically everything about the next M5. All that's left is to wait until it makes its official debut next year to see what it looks like and have the other blanks filled in. Mr. Arens, thanks for being so open with GoAuto. Here's hoping you still have a job.