BMW M division plans to stick with rear drive, despite the new Mercedes E63 and CLS63 AMG offering 4Matic all-wheel drive to left-hand-drive markets and Audi’s recently revealed quattro-equipped RS6 and RS7.
BMW M boss Friedrich Nitschke reiterated his stance to Autocar at the Detroit motor show last month. “Our philosophy in regards to steering feel and precision is that rear-wheel drive is the best solution,” he said. “xDrive brings an 80-90kg weight penalty and the M differential is the industry’s best rear-drive set-up.”
He also discussed the future of manuals. The M5, M6, and new M6 Gran Coupé are available with a six-speed manual ’box in the US. “From a production aspect, it would be much better to only offer the dual-clutch gearbox,” said Nitschke. “But as long as there is demand, we’ll offer the manual.”