Next BMW M5's AWD system to get 20:80 torque split

BMW reportedly views AWD as necessary to effectively deliver ever-increasing power output from modern performance engines.

A BMW employee has reportedly confirmed rumors pointing to an all-wheel-drive system for the next-generation M5.

Speaking to Australia's GoAuto, the product expert suggested the performance sedan will maintain a rear-wheel bias with a 20:80 torque split. Other xDrive cars typically deliver 60 percent of available torque to the rear axles.

Engineers reportedly viewed AWD as a necessary technology to properly handle ever-increasing power output from modern performance engines. Tire grip is said to become an issue once torque begins to exceed a bit more than 500 lb-ft.

"With the current M5 we are at [500 lb-ft] and thanks to the fact that we use Michelin Pilot Super Sport tyres, it can get all the traction and all the power on the ground," said product expert Sven Arens. "We have reached a point, for two-wheel-drive, the limit has been reached, the next step must be all-wheel drive."

The company allegedly wanted to avoid power-management workarounds employed by other cars, such as traction-control systems and peak torque limits in lower gears.

The comments suggest the performance sedan will boast more than 600 horsepower, bringing its zero-to-60 mph sprint benchmark below four seconds.

The redesigned M5 is not expected to be revealed until next year or possibly 2018.

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