First-ever all-wheel drive, diesel-powered BMW M5 in the works?

Enthusiasts might get what they've always wanted: A diesel-powered BMW M5.

Ordinarily coming across the suggestion that BMW's skunkworks was working on some type of diesel-powered vehicles wouldn't even warrant a second glance, but this time around it appears to have all the makings of a true-blue honest lead.

Although BMW is only just this week allowing U.S. journalists to get behind the wheel of the soon-to-be-available 2012 M5, several well-placed sources at the German automaker have apparently confirmed various aspects of an all-wheel drive, diesel-powered M-series sedan in the works to the Detroit Bureau.

This suggestion may seem far-fetched at first glance for a couple of reasons, one being the use of all-wheel drive and the second - probably the more unbelievable of the two - is the use of a diesel engine in an M-branded vehicle. The implications of these suggestions holding true are massive, especially when considering this would mark the first time ever BMW bestowed the M bade upon a diesel-powered vehicle.

It is suggested that this mythical sedan will utilize a variation of the 3.0-liter straight-six diesel currently in service in other BMW vehicles, albeit with the addition of an additional turbocharger for a total of three, as well as a new cylinder head, among other internal modifications to handle the increased power.

The sources claim this oil-burner will not reach the 560 horsepower rating of the gas-powered 2012 M5, but it will make up for that deficiency with a torque rating of about 150 lb-ft higher than that of the 500 lb-ft rating in the M5. It is because of the massive 650 lb-ft of torque that all-wheel drive also finds its way into the mix, a necessary solution to an obvious traction problem.

No luxury automaker has managed to successfully create and sell a diesel-powered performance car before, but given recent advancements in the technology, BMW may be looking to start yet another new trend in the luxury market.

It is worth noting that since the original story broke by the Detroit Bureau, the editor has since added clarification that one of its sources, BMW global marketing manager Brian Watts, only confirmed that the automaker is "looking at" a diesel option due to its "interesting potential," adding that the powertrain option consideration is "not finished [yet]."

Should BMW decide to add an oil-burner to its M5 sedan choices, expect at least a two-year model-year delay from the 2012 model launching now.

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