According to a recent report by Autocar in the UK, BMW insiders have acknowledged that a four-wheel drive system is being planned for the new 2012 BMW M5. Although nothing is official yet, the four-wheel drive system is likely to be an optional package.

Bringing out a four-wheel drive version of the M5 may annoy some diehard M car fans, but with new demands of the emerging markets, such as China, BMW will be able to cater more effectively to regions where snowfall is a regular occurrence if it offers all-wheel drive. The all-paw system might also win over some potential Mercedes-Benz E 63 AMG buyers, as such grip is not an option.

BMW recently unveiled a concept version of the next-generation BMW M5 at Auto Shanghai 2011 in China. The car featured a twin-turbo V8 engine matched to a Getrag seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. Official power and torque figures are yet to be released, although, outputs over 400kW are extremely likely.

Like all previous BMW M5s, and M cars in general, the new M5 will feature a discreet bodykit and styling tweaks over the standard model. Larger wheels will also be included for the purpose of surrounding a huge disc brake package, supporting the high-power engine. Likewise, extensive suspension and chassis revisions will be made. Inside the car will be similarly-modest, showcasing a luxurious yet supportive interior decor.

The production version of the 2012 BMW M5 is set to be unveiled at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September later this year.