At first glance, this looks like just any other BMW M5. But our European spy photographers CarPix say there’s something different about this particular M5. According to them, they saw all four wheels of this particular car in action, spinning wildly in the snow, so they decided to follow it until it was parked, where they took the opportunity to peek under the car.

This revealed front wheel driveshafts – this was basically a BMW M5 with xDrive all wheel drive. Now this isn’t the first M car with xDrive – if you consider the X5 M and X6 M as true M cars – which the M division do – then those would be the first M cars with xDrive.

But there has never been an xDrive M5, and it looks like the next generation car could be the first. We say next generation because we already see the next generation 5-Series prototype on road tests and the 5-er has already gone past its mid-lifecycle update, so updating the current F10 M5 would not make sense.

An xDrive M5 would likely feature a rear-biased setup to prevent understeer traits from cropping up – an attribute closely related to AWD layouts. Purists should view this move as more of a necessity than a form of dilution as future M5 and M6 models are most likely to boast much higher power figures.