"Watch this space," says BMW marketing boss Ian Robertson
Jim Holder
26 February 2015

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.

“The philosophy will remain rear-wheel drive, even if there is all-wheel drive,” he said. “As we increase power and torque, then the M5 and M6 will have large outputs, so we’ll look at those solutions [all-wheel drive] with these cars in the future.”

Roberston also denied that the M brand was at risk of being diluted from its core performance values as a result of developing offshoots including M-badged SUVs, diesel-powered M Performance cars and M prefixed cars such as the M235i.

"M is understood as a brand, and is anchored in the core models, which continue to be an outstanding success," said Robertson. "We have a broad offering, but that has not hindered our success."

  

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Comments
2

27 February 2015
Essentially BMW and M Division are changing into Audi. M Cars (RS Cars) will get "rear biased" 4WD and there is now a range of not quite so fast M Performance (S Cars) cars. Sad really. BMW are changing into a wannabe competitor instead of leading the way so Audi can chase them. Why doesn't M Division release hybrid M Cars or even hydrid M Performance cars instead of stupid diesel nonsense. Diesel is on its way out as a fuel they should look to the future not the past and should not imitate Volkswagen products whatever the badge they wear.

28 February 2015
SPQR i disagree with some of what you say. Having owned an F10 M5 I think it needed 4wd. It was either really dull or insane. when it was insane it was dangerous for an average driver like me. i really didnt like it because it would wheel spin in 4th on a dry road. The car i drive now is a 335d xdrive touring. its quick and almost as quick as the M5, and safe and a much better drive all round.

I had a 1M which didnt need 4wd as it wasnt so bonkers. The BHP and torque race means M cars, AMG etc are capable of a lot in dry weather but even on damp roads, let alone frosty roads they are tough to drive swiftly. For me the xdrive system is discreet and much safer. especially if you bung winter tyres on.

i am sure there will be Lewis hamiltonesque people who will vilify me but having the cash to buy these cars doesnt mean you are a great driver so i think safety matters

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