BMW has acknowledged that a four-wheel-drive version of its new M5 is in the works.
BMW's new rival to the Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG, revealed at the recent Shanghai auto show (LEFT), uses a 552hp twin-turbocharged V8 motor and features a typically conservative body kit with sinister-looking 20in. wheels. While the company is holding back precise details about the car, officials have confirmed that there are moves to eventually produce a 4WD version. However, insiders have denied that the company is considering producing a long-wheelbase version of the car specifically for the Chinese market.
“The long-wheelbase platform is reserved for standard versions of the 5-series sold in the Chinese market,” said one source. “There are no existing plans for an M5 on this structure.”
The new M5 – the definitive production version of which is be to be unveiled at the Frankfurt auto show later this year – is said to possess greater straightline performance than its predecessor while delivering an impressive 25 percent reduction in fuel consumption. These gains can be attributed, in part, to the adoption of a Getrag-engineered 7-speed, dual-clutch gearbox and a range of other measures from BMW's Efficient Dynamics portfolio, including automatic stop-start, brake energy recuperation and on-demand ancillary functions for the water pump.