BMW M division’s boss Friedrich Nitschke confirmed to Autocar that it is planning to stay with rear drive even new Mercedes-Benz E63 and CLS63 AMG offer 4Matic all-wheel drive to left-hand-drive markets and Audi has newly introduced the quattro-equipped RS6 and RS7.
Last month, Nitschke restated his standpoint to Autocar last month at the Detroit motor show. He said that when it comes to steering feel and precision, the best solution is the rear-wheel drive. He added that xDrive increases the weight by 80-90kg. Meanwhile, the M differential is the best rear-drive set-up in the industry. Furthermore, he talked about what to expect from manuals.
In the U.S., the M5, M6, and new M6 Gran Coupé are offered with a six-speed manual ’box. Nitschke said that when considering production, it will be a lot better to just have the dual-clutch gearbox available. The manual will be offered until demand dries up. When asked about doing away with naturally aspirated engines, Nitschke remarked that this is more about changing technology instead of a difference in philosophy.
He said that turbocharging is better for fuel savings and CO2. In addition, he asserted that there are no immediate plans to build an M3 version of the 3-series GT. He said that currently, there’s an M3 coupé, saloon, and convertible but unless there are changes in what the market requires, there won’t be any additional versions.