BMW has admitted that during the early stages of development for the latest M5, it experimented with rear-wheel drive.
According to vice president of BMW’s M division, Dirk Hacker, the first F90-generation M5 prototype was actually rear-wheel drive. However, due to the power delivered by the upgraded 4.4-liter twin-turbocharged V8, rear-wheel drive simply wasn’t the smartest option to bring to production.
“[RWD] was the natural, historic way to go – until we realized we were beyond the limits of longitudinal acceleration. Four-wheel drive was the only option,” Hacker revealed to Autocar.
The adoption of all-wheel drive in the new M5 also means it better rivals both the new Mercedes-AMG E63 and the Audi RS6, performance sedans sold exclusively with all-wheel drive.
BMW’s F90 M5 manages to deliver 600 PS and 750 lb-ft of torque to the ground. Mated to the engine is an eight-speed automatic transmission, launching the sedan from a standstill to 62 mph (100 km/h) in a blistering 3.4 seconds and 124 mph (200 km/h) in 11.1 seconds.