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      02-19-2013, 10:56 AM   #1
Jason
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Lightbulb BMW M CEO discusses Manaul Transmission, AWD, and Turbocharging in Future

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BMW M Boss Talks AWD vs RWD, Manaul Transmission and Turbocharging for the Future
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BMW M CEO Friedrich Nitschke gave some insight into certain aspects of future M models when speaking recently to Autocar.

AWD vs RWD

While current M models all remain RWD, as horsepower numbers climb for each successive generation of models, the question has arisen whether future models would benefit from AWD xDrive offerings, to help with traction and getting all that power down to the ground effectively; especially considering the AWD offerings from competitors - such as the E63/CLS63 AMG 4Matic and upcoming RS6/RS7 Quattro models.

To this, Nitschke reaffirms M's stance on RWD: "Our philosophy in regards to steering feel and precision is that rear-wheel drive is the best solution," ... "xDrive brings an 80-90kg weight penalty and the M differential is the industry's best rear-drive set-up."

Manual Transmission

The M traditionalists/purists/self-rowers' fear is that as BMW M's dual clutch M-DCT transmission gets better by each generation, and as manual transmission take rates decrease, manual transmission will be eliminated as an option altogether. It hasn't happened yet, as the current M5, M6, M6 Gran Coupe, as well as the upcoming F80 M3 and F82 M4 all offer (or will offer) manual transmissions.

To this, Nitschke basically says it's on us (as customers). "From a production aspect, it would be much better to only offer the dual-clutch gearbox," said Nitschke. "But as long as there is demand, we'll offer the manual."

This does however, somewhat contradict with a report last year in which BMW M's head of engineering, Albert Biermann let on that there are no plans to fit the next generation M5 or M6 with a manual transmission.

Turbocharging

Finally, regarding the move away from naturally aspirated engines, Nitschke said: "It's not a change in philosophy, it's a change in technology. Turbocharging is better for fuel savings and CO2."

The F80 M3 / F82 M4 has been confirmed to be powered by an inline 6 cylinder multi-turbo engine, which looks to output 415hp.

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      02-19-2013, 11:23 AM   #2
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As long as BMW ///M stays with RWD, I will stay with BMW ///M. I'm considering the next generatoin BMW ///M4 with a manual transmission for my next ///M. Can't wait to see what they deliver!
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      02-19-2013, 12:26 PM   #3
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As long as BMW ///M stays with RWD, I will stay with BMW ///M. I'm considering the next generatoin BMW ///M4 with a manual transmission for my next ///M. Can't wait to see what they deliver!
I'm with you Dave...right now, based on what I have heard, I am very interested in the 4. All depends on how it handles at the track. IMHO, it is have luxury feel for day-to-day use (M5) or parting with them for a more appropriate vehicle for track use (M3/4). The older I get, the more I think I may opt for the latter - dare I say P-car?
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      02-19-2013, 01:06 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RPiM5
As long as BMW ///M stays with RWD, I will stay with BMW ///M. I'm considering the next generatoin BMW ///M4 with a manual transmission for my next ///M. Can't wait to see what they deliver!
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      02-19-2013, 01:17 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M54ccibo View Post
I'm with you Dave...right now, based on what I have heard, I am very interested in the 4. All depends on how it handles at the track. IMHO, it is have luxury feel for day-to-day use (M5) or parting with them for a more appropriate vehicle for track use (M3/4). The older I get, the more I think I may opt for the latter - dare I say P-car?
Well that's the thing. I think BMW ///M may be headed more in the direction of Porsche with the next M3/M4. From what we have gathered the next gen M4 will focus on being lighter rather than on adding more horsepower, but will retain RWD, and will have a higher level of luxury and convience than a Porsche. To me the M4 sounds promising if BMW ///M does these things:

Light Chassis: 3,400lbs or less.
RWD
Active ///M Differential: This is what really makes the RWD potent enough to compete with AWD.
Greater Torque (around 400ft/lbs): With the ///M Differential, we'll be able to use more torque more efficiently, meaning no more spinning tires off the line and such.


Even some of the fastest Porsches don't have any more than 450hp. I think the M4 is going to be very very fast with great luxury, tech features, design, and convenience. Plus I think it's going to look really cool with the 4 series getting a wider stance and lower roof line than the current E92.

Time will tell!
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