Years ago BMW confirmed the next-generation M5 would offer all-wheel-drive standard. Well, now BMW has gone so far as to confirm details of the new system, which will launch next year on the new M5. Dubbed M xDrive, this all-wheel-drive system basically does tricks, including letting owners switch to rear-wheel-drive mode.
It comes as little surprise that BMW is throwing all-wheel-drive on the M5 as standard fair. Audi Sport and Mercedes-Benz AMG have already been doing such with their own tuner-engineered all-wheel-drive systems. Though it is worth noting that neither rival systems allow you to go strictly into rear-wheel-drive mode to keep things pure.
M xDrive actually has three modes. It has normal AWD mode, sport AWD mode and RWD mode. Each mode’s parameters converge with situational awareness of driving conditions to have a new computer called the Central Intelligence Unit (CIU) determine the torque map at any given time.
If sport mode isn’t enough, drivers can also shut off the stability control program and put the M5 into what is called M Dynamic Mode (MDM), which lets you send the car into a controlled drift and become even more dynamic.
This new all-wheel-drive system will get its torque from BMW’s well-known twin-turbocharged 4.4-liter V-8. Only this time the engine is mated exclusively to an eight-speed automatic; an upgrade from today’s seven-speed unit. There will be no manual transmission offering any longer.
Power details for the M5 are left to mystery until the car’s reveal later this year. But one can be certain the power ratings will be an increase over the previous M5, which should pair well to the fact that this M5 will actually be lighter than the previous one thanks to the 5 Series’ new CLAR platform.
The 2018 BMW M5 is slated to arrive in dealerships next year.