Times, they are a changing, even for the BMW M division.
Believe it or not, it's already time to start talking about the next generation BMW 5 Series. The current model was unveiled in 2009 and was recently refreshed. That also means there's going to be some early talk regarding the next M5. In a recent interview, BMW M CEO Dr. Friedrich Nitschke stated that after viewing the sales numbers of rivals like Mercedes AMG and Audi RS, both of whom offer all-wheel drive on their high-performance sedans and coupes, it's possible that AWD may soon become a part of the M division.
In fact, some 70 to 80 percent of E63 AMG buyers are opting for AWD in the US. Due to these market forces, it wouldn't be surprising to see an AWD option on the next-gen M5 and M6, but rear-wheel-drive will probably remain standard. Set to arrive in 2018, the next M5 will make extensive use of carbon fiber and aluminum in order to further enhance its performance and handling capabilities. What's for certain, however, is that AWD will never be offered on the M3/M4. Dr. Nitschke even confirmed this all-important piece of information that will surely keep the purists at bay.