Autocar confidential: Why the BMW M5 is all-wheel drive, Lamborghini to keep V12 alive and more

BMW M5

The new BMW M5 was first developed with rear-wheel drive in prototype form

Our reporters empty their notebooks to round up this week’s gossip from across the automotive industry

This week’s snippets of automotive news covers vastly different topics from Mazda, BMW and Toyota, as well as Lamborghini engineering boss Maurizio Reggiani.

Mazda is better off

Mazda has more economies of scale than when it was part of Ford, according to Europe boss Jeff Guyton. He explained, for example, that the scale of the Ford Focus, a sibling of the Mazda 3, was so massive that it meant there was no commonality with the Ford Fiesta or Mazda 2. Now, the 3 and 2 have much more in common.

M5 could have stuck with rear-wheel drive

The first prototype for the new BMW M5, created more than three years ago, was rear-wheel drive, Dirk Hacker, vice-president of BMW’s M division, confirmed to Autocar: “It was the natural, historic way to go – until we realised we were beyond the limits of longitudinal acceleration. Four-wheel drive was the only option.”

Toyota pushes for car communication

Toyota is hoping to find a way to retro-fit car-to-car telematics systems so that it can hasten the onset of cars being able to communicate with each other to avoid accidents. “If we can develop an add-on that can be fitted to all cars – not just our own – it will be a big step,” said Shigeki Tomoyama, senior managing officer at Toyota.

Lamborghini will retain the V12

Lamborghini R&D boss Maurizio Reggiani wants to ensure the firm’s V12 engine, currently used in the Aventador, will survive long into the future. The unit is already confirmed for the next-generation Aventador. Reggiani said: “V12 must remain a Lamborghini engine because it provides unique emotion of sound and responsiveness. How we can make this work in the future is a big question for us.”

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Source:: Autocar