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      01-13-2015, 05:48 PM   #1
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New BMW M boss talks AWD and potential models

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New BMW M boss talks AWD and potential models
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BMW M has a new boss, Franciscus van Meel, and he recently shared his first public statements with Auto Express relating to the future.

AWD M5/M6?

Van Meel, the former head of Audi Quattro GmbH, is of course well versed with all-wheel drive, and he seems to be favoring the use of all-wheel drive in future M5 and M6 models.

"If we continue the power increases in the future – especially regarding torque and also horsepower – then probably the next generation M5 and M6 will have so much torque and power that we need to think about those solutions."

This line of thinking is not new at BMW M and hints have been dropped in the past regarding potential optional AWD models for the future M5.

However, any all-wheel drive system that BMW M implements would be very rear-biased to maintain a sporty driving experience, as he continues:

“I wouldn’t like to use the word four-wheel drive because it’s always connected a little bit – emotionally – to straightforward driving and that’s not what we’re talking about.

“So if we go on a direction of four-wheel drive, for us it will really be like a rear-wheel drive with more traction.”

M3 or M5 Touring? X3M or X4M?

When asked whether there was a possibility for touring models of the M3 or M5, van Meel had this to say:

“I had the same question the other way around in my former job. Why not explore an RS sedan? BMW is not a Touring-focused group. Popularity is still stronger on the sedan [saloon] side, so when people connect to BMW, it’s sedan. What people connect to the company next door [Audi], it’s another body shape.

“That body shape is not popular in China and not popular in the US – and as the US is our biggest market, we would be making a model that our biggest market does not want.”

But, it appears BMW M hasn't nixed he idea of an M version of the X3 or X4. On that he coyly says: “That might be a business opportunity.”

Source: http://www.autoexpress.co.uk/bmw/900...ll-wheel-drive

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      01-13-2015, 06:02 PM   #2
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Please please pleaseeeee for the love of god, if, if you are going to make the M5 and M6 AWD, make it an option only!!!! Keep the RWD legend alive!!
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      01-13-2015, 06:06 PM   #3
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So absolutely nothing that we didn't already know then...

And to boot no M supercar news, no M performance model news, no GTS model news, no info on weight of next M6 pitching against Porsche 911
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      01-13-2015, 06:09 PM   #4
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Shocker... ::rolls eyes::
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      01-13-2015, 06:09 PM   #5
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      01-13-2015, 06:10 PM   #6
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Please make an X3M!
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      01-13-2015, 06:11 PM   #7
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There is simply no passion in BMW anymore like Porsche, Ferrari and a couple others have. They are simply about a business case and churning out as many cars as possible. I do think AWD is a good option on these new M cars because they are handfuls at the limit and down put power down well. Too bad xdrive isn't nearly an equal to Quattro.
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      01-13-2015, 06:14 PM   #8
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How about 4wd for launching only after that RWD 100%
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      01-13-2015, 06:17 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Niko1414
How about 4wd for launching only after that RWD 100%
But that would mean you carry so much extra weight to use every once in a while for launching.
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      01-13-2015, 06:20 PM   #10
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why is everyone so against AWD? the GTR has it and it's a legendary car.
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      01-13-2015, 06:26 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bcl0328
why is everyone so against AWD? the GTR has it and it's a legendary car.
Agreed +1 for an xDrive M3 (as an option of course)
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      01-13-2015, 06:28 PM   #12
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Nothing new. We've heard all this in a different language. Definitely BMW AG wants a different product focus hence the gradual change of guard. Sacrifice tradition for the sake of profit.
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      01-13-2015, 06:29 PM   #13
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When ///M5/6 become AWD the 0-60 time will at least - 0.5 sec. ! (Also safer on wet road conditions)
But prefer RWD for the joy of driving .
Actualy it's advantage vs disadvantage...
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      01-13-2015, 06:30 PM   #14
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Lmao I don't see a problem. 99% of people on this forum couldn't harness with the M5 has to offer at full bore, that's the whole point. I don't care that people here dog Audi because many are so biased toward BMW. Audis cars drive better anymore so let the man do his job.
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      01-13-2015, 06:34 PM   #15
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We have the x5m and x6m. 4wd and good ground clearance.
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      01-13-2015, 06:36 PM   #16
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I am very happy to hear that BMW is considering AWD in future sedans/coupes. I had a 2011 S4 prior to my 2012 M3 and now a 2015 M4. AWD in a performance car that is calibrated for a rear bias is a good thing. I was a passenger in an Audi R8 V10 plus at Summit Point with an Audi professional driver at the wheel and it was AMAZING. I respect everyone's opinion but I would like my next performance vehicle to be AWD. Two vehicles I would like to add to my stable would be the Audi S3 for a daily driver and to add to the M4 would be a Porsche 911 Carrera 4 GTS. AWD is not a bad thing.
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      01-13-2015, 06:38 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Revcrazy
There is simply no passion in BMW anymore like Porsche, Ferrari and a couple others have. They are simply about a business case and churning out as many cars as possible. I do think AWD is a good option on these new M cars because they are handfuls at the limit and down put power down well. Too bad xdrive isn't nearly an equal to Quattro.
And what facts do you have that xDrive isn't as good as Quattro? Audi Quattro understeer while xDrive oversteer through hard corners. Everyone knows oversteering is better and more fun. If you're referring who can climb the rigged ramps better, that has no real world use for a 5 or 6 series.

I'm a strong believer is keeping the M RWD. If you want AWD, get a 550/650.
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      01-13-2015, 06:41 PM   #18
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Actually he did talk to Autocar as well it seems:

A BMW M2 is set to be launched as part of an expanded range of BMW M cars that could also include M versions of the X3 and X4, new BMW M boss Frank van Meel has revealed at the Detroit motor show.

Van Meel, who recently made the switch from Audi’s RS division to head up BMW’s M range, said the previous 1-series M Coupé is a car he is very fond of, and therefore is a car “he’d love to do something in the direction of again”.

Spy photographers now regularly catch M2 prototypes in testing, but van Meel stopped short of officially confirming the model for production. Van Meel was less enthusiastic about the idea of an M3 Touring or flagship M7 - his vision of the perfect embodiment of an M car is the current M3/M4 - but he was more open and optimistic on the chances of M versions of the X3 and X4 making production.

“There are more opportunities than at present,” he said, “but not on every BMW as it makes no sense.

“There might be a business opportunity with the X3/X4,” he added. “We’re continuing our success story with new versions of the X5 M and X6 M.”

However, van Meel did confirm that four-wheel drive would reach future BMW M cars, with the next-generation M5 and M6 being the most likely candidates. But he said the models would still be rear-biased, and the technology would be used to increase traction in order to avoid the understeer traits with which all-wheel-drive performance cars are associated.

“The philosophy will remain rear-wheel drive, even if there is all-wheel drive,” he said. “As we increase power and torque, then the M5 and M6 will have large outputs, so we’ll look at those solutions [all-wheel drive] with these cars in the future.”

Van Meel said the recently launched M Performance range would be expanded as a way to bridge the gap between existing range-topping BMWs and full-blown M cars. More diesel models are set for this range, but van Meel said there wouldn’t be an M Performance version of every BMW as some models were not suited to performance versions.

Manual transmissions will only continue to be made should there be market demand for them, van Meel revealed, with sales suggesting they were on their way out.

Van Meel poured cold water on the chances of any future M version of a BMW i car, saying instead that any collaboration between the two bookends of the BMW range would be through shared technology such as carbonfibre.

However, M division was investigating the possibility of electrification of its future range. “We’re looking at all kinds of technologies, including electric solutions, but this must sit under clear M properties," said van Meel.

Electric turbochargers were being investigated, he said, as a way of improving throttle response. “We’ve already taken steps to improve throttle response with our V8,” said van Meel, “but we can improve further still with electric turbos. The philosophy has to be right to fit in with M, but yes, this is technology we’re looking at if we can make it fit.”

He was less keen on the idea of a front-wheel-drive M car based on BMW’s new UKL1 platform, although an M Performance version of a model in this range would be possible “if we can make it sharp enough”.

Four-cylinder engines for M cars were something else he isn’t keen on, saying the dynamics of such an engine were not in keeping with M’s philosophy as they’d be too highly stressed and not refined enough. But combining them with electric power would change this, although “you wouldn’t be able to lap the Nürburgring” without depleting the range.

“They are not part of the short term for M,” he added.

BMW celebrates its centenary in 2016, and van Meel said M was “eager to support the event”, without going into specifics.
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      01-13-2015, 06:43 PM   #19
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Sweet. Looking forward to putting a lift kit on it and taking it off road
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      01-13-2015, 06:50 PM   #20
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In a perfect world, where do we actually see the performance of next 1-2 generations of M cars going? At a certain point these cars can't get any lighter or more powerful without changing fundamentals about the car.
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      01-13-2015, 06:52 PM   #21
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As a future M customer I'm OK with AWD as an option only, RWD and proper manual has to be the heart of M division, would love to see the return of NA engines with the possibility of electric front wheel drive hybrid.
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      01-13-2015, 07:02 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bcl0328 View Post
why is everyone so against AWD? the GTR has it and it's a legendary car.
Haha and that's why stock M6 smokes stock GTR in rolling + RWD and basically that's tracking issue is lots of fun!
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