April 20, 2014

No 4WD BMW M5. But what about the M5 Diesel – the BMW M550d?

4WD BMW M5

No 4WD BMW M5. But is that the end of the story?

BMW head of product development, Albert Biermann, has revealed there will be no 4WD version of the new BMW M5. But will there be a 4WD M5 Diesel?


There have been rumours flying around for a while that the new BMW M5 would get a 4WD option. Which makes sense; as power and torque increases getting the power down, even in perfect conditions, becomes more difficult.

In fact, as recently as May, we reported that Autocar were claiming they’d had confirmation from the horse’s mouth that BMW were planning 4WD as an option on the new M5. But now another horse - BMW’s head of product development, Albert Biermann – has categorically said no, the new M5 won’t be available with 4WD.

We should probably listen to what Albert Biermann says as he’s come out and said it loud and clear in conversation with Autoblog. Which is a bit more convincing than Autocar’s unnamed horse. Interestingly, the original rumours about a 4WD M5 came after Biermann said “…there will be some all-wheel-drive surprises on M cars in the future.”

Biermann also says that there will be no M5 Touring. According to Biermann, the last generation M5 Touring sold just 1056 – in the world. Which makes it hard to put together a business case for a load-lugging M5 in the current generation. Which is a shame.

But is the statement by Biermann the end of any prospect of a 4WD BMW M5? Well, yes and no.

Although Biermann makes it clear the M5 won’t be getting 4WD, we’re convinced the planned diesel version of the M5 – probably badged BMW M550d or 550dXM – will go the 4WD route.

The reason BMW are likely to endow a diesel M5 with 4WD is very simple – traction. The triple-turbo 3.0 litre straight six we expect to see in the diesel M5 will come with something around 500bhp – about 60bhp less than the M5 – but it will get a chunk more torque – 650lb/ft.

A planet-turning figure like that will give BMW real problems delivering the power to the tarmac, and a proper 4WD system would mean the front wheels can help when the back wheels are on the verge of tearing a hole in time and space.

So although we won’t be seeing a regular BMW M5 with 4WD this time round, the 550dXM will be arriving sometime soon and it will, almost certainly, get 4WD.

As a result of which the next generation M5 will probably go the same route.

2012 BMW M5 Official Photo Gallery

(125 photos – click any thumbnail for full gallery)

Source: Autoblog

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