Franciscus van Meel had been a part of Audi AG management since 1996, in positions including chassis development and vehicle project director. In 2012 he was named managing director of Quattro GmbH - headquarters for personal favorites like the RS6 Avant and R8 - but he lasted just two years before being sent to lead an R&D division in Beijing. He returned from exile just ten months later but wearing a blue and white roundel, after being named to the top spot at BMW M.

So it shouldn't be a surprise that when Auto Express asked van Meel about all-wheel drive on the next M5, he replied, "If we continue the power increases in the future... then probably the next generation M5 and M6 will have so much torque and power that we need to think about those solutions." It would make sense from a competitive standpoint, too - once the Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG went 4Matic, that put the two of the three cars in the segment in the AWD column.

And there's no "if" about a power increase: a recent report put next generation's output at 600 hp - that's 40 hp more than today - to power a lighter car. That report said there'd be the option of four-wheel drive, but AE takes van Meel's words as a definite sign that we'll see a more complex drive arrangement under the next M5. If so, then truth be told, van Meel is reiterating the thoughts of his predecessor from two years ago. The new M boss doesn't like the phrase "four-wheel drive," however; in clarifying those "solutions" he mentioned, he said that the car would be rear-biased to remain emotional, with the front tires kicking in to aid traction.

Related Video:

Autoblog Short Cuts: 2012 BMW M5


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