BMW M3 and M4 Competition xDrive: Performance With the Looks To Match

For the latest BMW M3 Competition Sedan and BMW M4 Competition Coupé, a bespoke M all-wheel-drive system raises the bar on dynamics, mobility, and accuracy. The additional platform versions will be available in late 2021.

Just a few months after the new BMW M3 Sedan and BMW M4 Coupé went on sale, BMW is expanding the product lineup by selling the M xDrive all-wheel-drive system for the first time in the luxury midsize market for high-performance sports cars.

An eight-speed M Steptronic transmission with Drivelogic directs the power from the new models’ 375 kW/510 hp straight-six engine. The M-specific all-wheel-drive mechanism then distributes power to the front and rear wheels as needed to maintain mobility, longitudinal stability, traction, and track-focused dynamics.

This gives the driver an intoxicating understanding of the iconic M output features, which includes, among other aspects, faster acceleration. In July 2021, the BMW M3 Competition Sedan with M xDrive and BMW M4 Competition Coupé with M xDrive will be released, with the models expected to be released in the fourth quarter of 2021 in Australia.

From a standstill, the BMW M3 Competition Sedan with M xDrive and BMW M4 Competition Coupé with M xDrive will take only 3.5 seconds to hit 100 km/h (62 mph), which is 0.4 seconds faster than their rear-wheel-drive counterparts.

The 375kW/650Nm 3.0-litre twin-turbocharged ‘S58’ inline-six that powers the flagship M3 and M4 is mated to an eight-speed torque-converter automatic transmission, much like the rear-drive Competition models that debuted in BMW showrooms recently.

Unlike the current vehicles, the xDrive models send power to all four wheels from a downsized version of the switchable M xDrive all-wheel-drive configuration used in the larger M5 super sedan – a first for the models.

The M xDrive mechanism uses an electronically controlled multi-plate clutch in the transfer case to distribute drive torque between the front and rear wheels in a smooth and variable manner.

The all-wheel-drive system provides optimum stability and precise controllable handling in the default 4WD configuration, while retaining a distinctly rear-biased power split at all times. Even in highly dynamic driving conditions, activating 4WD Sport mode sends an even greater proportion of the engine’s torque to the rear wheels, resulting in sharper agility.

M xDrive also helps the driver to customise the features and performance of the all-wheel-drive mechanism to the driving condition and their personal interests.

The xDrive models in the UK reportedly enjoy a 2.9 per cent premium, costing £2260 more than their rear-drive Competition siblings. This means that M3 prices in Australia could start at about $160,000 before on-road costs or $165,000 for the M4.

M3 and M4 Competition with M xDrive. Image: BMW

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