Originally Posted by tuna_hp
Don't forget people: this is all PR. There's no reason to believe that this even honestly represents their current thinking, much less what their thinking will be in 1 or 2 years.
Case in point: I remember about 5 years ago reading a very similar short interview with a BMW executive about the direction that their cars would be taking. BMW was extremely quick to point out that they believed that all forced induction engines were terrible and that they would never offer them extensiely. They claimed that turbocharged engines only add torque, not very much power, and that more torque with about the same power just means that you need a heavier driveline, heavier axles, heavier brakes, and in the end, heavier everything, making the car a poorer handler without making it faster in an enthusiast driving scenarios.
What they said at the time was and still is true. But how did that go for us? You can't even purchase a naturally aspirated engine from BMW anymore.
Same thing will go for AWD. Porsche and Audi have always offered their M5 competitor in AWD only, and MB looks to be heading that way as well. And there is some sense to it when these cars are putting out 600+hp real world figures. How long after the RS6, Panamera Turbo S, and E63, all with AWD, start leaving the M5 last place in the comparison tests? How long after that until BMW starts offering a version of the M5 with AWD? And when the take rate on the AWD M5 is 80%+, how long does BMW continue to offer RWD?
I'm not even saying its a bad thing. Yeah it will negatively effect handling, but when you have a 600+ hp engine in a FR layout large sedan, you'll almost certainly be faster around any track with the extra traction of 2 more drive wheels than you will be relying on the marginally superior dynamics of the RWD car.
The reason that M5 is in last place is because the handling is rather poor. Too much weight and poor steering response.
Don't think AWD would make M5 any better. In fact with extra weight it would make it even less fun to drive