BMW Gets Serious About AWD Performance

Luke Vandezande
by Luke Vandezande

BMW’s newest executive is a strong sign that the company is about to get serious with all-wheel drive performance vehicles.

Former quattro boss Franciscus Van Meel was named the new head of BMW M following the retirement of former boss Friedrich Nitschke, 59, who will retire at the end of the year. According to a statement released by BMW, Van Meel officially joins the company on October 1.

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At Audi, Van Meel was in charge of developing the new R8, but product development boss Ulrich Hackenberg lost faith in his ability to complete the project after several delays and a dubious future for the on-again, off-again electric variant of that car. Before he was in charge of Audi’s quattro unit, Van Meel started at Audi in 1996 and worked in chassis development.

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Luke Vandezande
Luke Vandezande

Luke is an energetic automotive journalist who spends his time covering industry news and crawling the internet for the latest breaking story. When he isn't in the office, Luke can be found obsessively browsing used car listings, drinking scotch at his favorite bar and dreaming of what to drive next, though the list grows a lot faster than his bank account. He's always on <A title="@lukevandezande on Twitter" href="">Twitter</A> looking for a good car conversation. Find Luke on <A title="@lukevandezande on Twitter" href="">Twitter</A> and <A title="Luke on Google+" href="">Google+</A>.

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  • Smartacus Smartacus on Sep 25, 2014

    This one will equal or better Peter Schreyer snapped up by KIA as THE BIGGEST TALENT POACHED von AUDI

  • BMRsehen BMRsehen on Oct 09, 2014

    I understand the need for performance of all wheel drive. I hope BMW (und Herr Van Meel) brings back more 2 rwd options allows or a choice of 2 or all wheel drive with all of their models. I live in the south with very little snow, and for me all wheel drive, reduces fuel economy, eats tires faster, more complicated to work on more expensive to maintain. The expenses are great with little benefit to me. My pet peeve with BMW is now ramming down all wheel drive with just about every model, no rwd models. They are also ramming the turbos too. Give the buyer an option. Thank you.