Future BMW M cars are almost certain to be offered with four-wheel drive.
Speaking ahead of the Geneva motor show, BMW marketing boss Ian Robertson said: "Four-wheel drive is becoming more and more normal. In terms of mainstream BMW 3 Series and 5 Series sales it is a prerequiste, as it is also for the BMW 7 Series in many markets. The fact is that rear-wheel drive and four-wheel drive models can live together in our range.
"For future BMW M products with four-wheel drive, you'll have to watch this space."
Robertson's comments echo those of Frank van Meel, the recently appointed head of BWM's M division, who previously worked for Audi's RS offshoot.
Speaking at the Detroit motor show, he told Autocar that BMW's M car four-wheel drive programme would likely begin with the next-generation M5 and M6. He also stressed that the models would still be rear-biased, and the technology would be used to increase traction in order to avoid the understeer traits with which all-wheel-drive performance cars are associated.