After embracing all-wheel drive, there’s a chance BMW may put its fabled M badge on front-wheel drive vehicles, too.
Now before you cry foul, the German marque doesn’t intend on making the next-generation M3 or M4 front-wheel drive. Instead, BMW is contemplating the introduction of select front-wheel drive M Performance models.
Speaking to Car Advice at the launch of the M2 Competition and M5 Competition, BMW M boss Frank Van Meel ruled out the possibility of any bonafide front-wheel drive M models, but left the door open for lesser performance cars.
“[The challenge of building a sporty front-wheel drive vehicle] is the biggest challenge because we want to have a typical M feeling which goes more naturally with rear-wheel drive,” Van Meel said.
“[However], the segment is big for us and of course it’s very attractive, it’s the entry-level segment to M. The question is what kind of M and which cars of that segment would fit.”
The next-generation 1-Series will be the company’s first vehicle to use the FAAR front-wheel drive platform. After the 1-Series launches, BMW will follow it up with a new 2-Series Gran Turismo, 2-Series Active Tourer, 2-Series Gran Tourer, X1, and a baby electric SUV dubbed the iX1.
While Van Meel wouldn’t be drawn on which of these models could be sold in M Performance guise, punchy variants of the new 1-Series and X1 seem particularly likely. BMW could also give future 2-Series customers something to get excited about with M Performance versions.
Whatever happens, purists can rest easy knowing that no true BMW M car will be front-wheel drive. At least for the foreseeable future…