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by James Ward

The world of high-performance super sedans is like a game of chess. Moves and counter moves.

This week saw the official launch and first drive of the 2017 Mercedes-AMG E63 S, a 450kW AWD salvo across the bow of arch rival BMW, which is yet to formally announce the specification of the G30-generation M5 sedan.

CarAdvice spoke with Peter Quintus, Vice President of Global Sales and Marketing at BMW’s M division about the next monster 5 Series, and what the move by AMG to an all-wheel drive platform might mean for BMW.

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“I cannot comment about the future M5 and whether it will be all-wheel drive,” said Quintus. “Our philosophy is about rear-wheel drive.”

“But 600 horsepower and rear drive is difficult to handle, even for an experienced driver”, he added. “So if the next M5 were to be AWD, it would feature a rear bias and offer different driving modes.”

This is the approach taken by Mercedes-Benz in the new E63. The AMG E63 packs a mountainous 850Nm of torque, some 25 per cent more than the current F30 M5’s 680Nm.

Further, it runs the 0-100km/h sprint a good 19 per cent faster than the M5, 3.4 seconds in contrast to the BMW’s 4.2.

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“We will close this gap”, said Quintus. And we are glad to hear it.

The G30 M5 is expected to be lighter and more powerful than the car it replaces, and with our first drive of the ‘normal’ G30 5 Series just days away, we’re looking forward to learning more about the new M5, and will follow this super-sedan arms race with great interest!

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