BMW M still wary of building front-wheel drive high-performance M cars

Article by Christian A., on October 22, 2017

It seems that BMW’s high-performance division -- BMW M – still has not warmed up to front-wheel drive vehicles. So those who had been looking forward to BMW M vehicles being offered as such should just stop hoping as the company has reiterated that a front-wheel drive M car won't be coming.

This was confirmed in an interview with Autocar by Dirk Hacker, BMW M vice president. He remarked that in an M vehicle, the driver has to feel the car through the steering and the throttle. He added that there is currently no solution for front-wheel drive vehicles.

BMW M’s indifference to front-wheel drive vehicles is understandable. In this set-up, the front wheels are made to accomplish two things at the same time: steer the vehicle and send power to the ground. A high-performance vehicle or a sports car won't find this setup to be optimal in terms of steering and handling, especially when high-speed handling is involved. This is aggravated by the fact that most of the weight of the vehicle is focused on the front. Furthermore, the issue of torque steer – a problem usually felt during hard acceleration -- remains to be fully solved in front-wheel drive cars, especially high-performance ones.

Currently, most of the BMW M’s offering are rear-wheel drive units like the M3 and the M4. However, the next generation of the BMW M5 is now standard with all-wheel drive system – the first time that an M car is adopting such configuration. However, this doesn’t mean that the M5 has dumped the advantages and beauty of a rear-wheel drive setup. This is because the M xDrive all-wheel drive system setup in the powerful BMW M5 – with 600 hp of max output and 533 lb.-ft. of peak torque at its disposal – also offers a rear-wheel drive mode. Accessed through the infotainment system, the M xDrive could be toggled between different four-wheel drive modes and rear-wheel drive mode with no traction control.

As for the next generation of the BMW M3 and M4, Hacker indicated that these new models might still feature a rear-wheel drive system. He told Autocar that while BMW M5 will surely increase the power of the next generation of the M3 and M4, the high-performance division doesn’t want to make them heavier by employing a four-wheel drive system. He added that BMW M will use a four-wheel drive when needed.

On the other hand, Hacker disclosed to Autocar that the BMW M2 could be M division’s last car to be offered manual gearbox. He noted that there is an increasing number of customers for M cars – except for the M2 – who are preferring DCT dual-clutch automatic gearbox, which is known to deliver a wonderful combination of performance and efficiency. As for the M2, Hacker revealed that around half of its buyers prefer a manual model.

Source: autocar.co.uk

If you liked the article, share on:

Topics: bmw, fwd, sports car

Comments

Recommended

The distance a vehicle can travel with a full tank of gas or a single full charge is important to any driver. This is why most carmakers reveal the range...
by - October 22, 2018
More than a year after introducing the widely acclaimed ATS GT prototype at the at the luxurious Salon Privé exhibit, Automobili Turismo e Sport (ATS) has finally presented the final...
by - October 19, 2018
The diesel exodus in Europe continues. Years ago, carmakers have been in a sweeping race to offer more diesel-powered vehicles in the continent, which hunger for such transports seems unending....
by - October 19, 2018
At the 2018 Paris Motor Show earlier this month, Czech carmaker Skoda unveiled the Vision RS Concept. According to Skoda, the new Vision RS doesn’t just show how its RS...
by - October 18, 2018
That was fast! It was only a few days ago when Skoda teased its newest creation – the new all-new Skoda Kodiaq GT coupe-SUV -- through three sketched images. Now,...
by - October 18, 2018