New BMW M5 Will Switch From AWD To RWD At The Touch Of A Button

Sports Cars / 30 Comments

Drifters and Snow Belt residents rejoice because somehow BMW turned bad news into great news.

BMW's M Division has been sacrilegiously butchering its lineup to a point that it could soon be unrecognizable from the first Ms that started the whole thing. First was the news that the M5 would be an all-wheel drive model, and next we heard that the Blue and White Roundel would begin electrifying its M cars until one day, we'd have nothing left but silent all-wheel drive track cars. Thankfully, Germany's Bimmer Today has uncovered that the former of the two M Division sins would be mitigated.

That's because BMW is poised to make the F90 both a rear-wheel drive and all-wheel drive car. Unlike BMW's line of xDrive vehicles, the M5 won't be sold in two models, one for each individual drivetrain flavor. Instead, the Bimmer will encapsulate both drive modes in one by adding a mode that sends 100 percent of the engine's power to the rear wheels. This means that owners can have the benefit of AWD safety and control with the fun of a rear-wheel drive train all wrapped in one sleek package. This is similar to what Mercedes did with the new AMG E63, which features a drift mode that sends all of the power to the rear wheels when the driver wants to send clouds of tire smoke into the air.

It comically reminds us of a reverse four-wheel drive system, sending power to the four wheels by default and only activating the rear-wheel drive mode when the conditions permit. Bimmer Today speculates that BMW will make it easier to switch into rear-wheel drive mode by enabling the driver to program it into one of the car's M modes. The driver could then press a button on the steering wheel to activate rear-wheel drive along with the other preselected M features. Like the all-wheel drive Dodge Challenger, the shift towards having power come out all four wheels should help the M5 sell well in the snow belt as well as better manage what is slated to be 600 horsepower coming from a revised version of the twin turbo 4.4-liter V8 under the hood.

While the last generation M5 was seen as a huge step away from the lighter and more nimble M5s of the past, the F90 should go further with the weight savings tactics employed on the G30 5 Series to make it lighter than its predecessor. Hopefully this will revive some of the M magic that was lost on the F10. With the AMG E63 running unchallenged, we can't wait to see what will happen when BMW brings out the F90 with the power and technology to bite back at Mercedes.

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