BMW has acknowledged that a four-wheel-drive version of its new M5 is being lined up.
BMW’s new rival to the Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG, revealed at the recent Shanghai show, uses a 552bhp twin-turbocharged V8 motor and features a typically conservative body kit with sinister-looking 20in wheels.
BMW is keen to hold back exact details about the car, but officials have confirmed that there are moves to eventually produce a four-wheel-drive version of the M5.
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.”
Set for UK delivery in April 2012, following the unveiling of the definitive production version at the Frankfurt motor show later this year, the new M5 is said to possess greater straight-line performance than its predecessor while delivering an impressive 25 per cent reduction in fuel consumption.
These gains can be attributed, in part, to the adoption of a Getrag-engineered seven-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.