Damon Lavrinc of Autoblog had the chance to sit down with Albert Biermann, Head of Product Development for BMW‘s M Division, and was able to glean some information on future product that should put to bed some of the many rumors floating around about BMW’s skunk works.
First up, the upcoming 2013 BMW M5 will be available with a 6-speed manual. The previous M5 debuted with a 7-speed SMG gearbox, and the resulting outcry forced BMW to backtrack and offer a proper stick after launch. Not so for the new car, which will have the option of either a stick or a dual-clutch gearbox. What won’t be offered is all-wheel drive (due to the sophistication of the M5’s electronic rear differential) and a wagon (BMW sold just over 1,000 M5 wagons world wide last time around, and can’t justify the investment like Cadillac can with the CTS-V wagon).
BMW also won’t be offering an M version of the Z4 for similar reasons, but don’t be surprised to see an M version of one of BMW’s EVs, with Biermann stating “There will be a day when we will not only tweak combustion engines, but electric motors. But we have to continue to provide the M experience.” Biermann also discussed the popular topic of weight reduction, stating that his goal is to have the new model match the outgoing models’ weight, and that due to increasing complexity and vehicle content, weight reduction isn’t always possible.