Speaking to Autocar, M division CEO Frank van Meel said four-wheel drive was likely to feature on models such as the M5 as power outputs increased, but he suggested rear-wheel drive would always remain the default specification.
Van Meel explained that M cars are already reaching the point where growing power outputs will oblige something to be done, but that they're still wedded to rear-wheel drive for philosophical reasons. He added that it’s already getting hard to sell rear-driven M cars with 600bhp-plus in markets such as Canada and Switzerland.
BMW engineers have been working hard to improve traction, stability control and torque vectoring systems, but Van Meel hinted that optional four-wheel drive was inevitable in the long run.
The system wouldn’t be labelled as xDrive on M cars, however. BMW believes the all-wheel-drive performance models deserve their own branding.