BMW has been testing a four-wheel drive version of its current M5 super-saloon. The current-gen F10M M5 is running xDrive four-wheel drive, apparently acting as a test-mule for development of the new system that’s set to feature on the forthcoming G30 M5 model.
We know little about the future car, but expect it to take the usual route of capacity downsizing, so the current car’s eight cylinders could be cut to six, with improvements to turbocharging ensuring power isn’t reduced.
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The addition of four-wheel drive on the new car comes as no surprise, with demand for xDrive 5-series and rival models like Mercedes’ 4Matic E-Class soaring across the European continent. Given BMW’s stance on rear-wheel drive, we expect the M versions to all be rear-biased in setup.
Previously, four-wheel drive models had been limited in the UK due to the position of the right-hand drive steering rack, but the next-gen xDrive system is expected to be rolled out across the BMW range in all major markets, UK included.
The G30 5-series is set to arrive in 2016, with the M5 version expected a year later in 2017. Other developments at BMW include recent confirmation that it'll be producing a plug-in hybrid version of its 3-series saloon.