BMW is upping the ante by adding its own xDrive AWD system in the 2022 BMW M3 and M4 Competition models. It’s the first time the M3 sedan and M4 Coupe have had all-wheel drive, and that only means good things for both the competition versions of the latest M3 and M4.
Of course, AWD means better grip on all kinds of road surfaces. BMW claims that the additional traction from its latest M xDrive system in the M3 and M4 “will enable 749 lb-ft of torque to be used largely during acceleration and dynamic driving.”
True, the xDrive-equipped M3 Competition and M4 models accelerate faster than the standard competition models with rear-wheel drive. Engine output remains the same at 503 horsepower and 479 pound-feet of torque. But with the xDrive AWD, the M3 and M4 Competition are 0.4 seconds faster to hit 60 mph than the RWD variant, and perform the action in just 3.4 seconds.
BMW’s latest M xDrive system for the 2022 M3 Competition and M4 Competition is a fully variable, rear-facing system with multi-plate electronic clutch. Meanwhile, there is an active M differential to handle the distribution of torque to the rear axle. In everyday driving, engine torque is transmitted to the rear wheels to improve fuel economy without punishing the classic BMW rear-wheel drive experience.
However, the M xDrive system sends torque to the front wheels when additional traction is needed. Standard Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) controls the active M differential and AWD to prevent oversteer and oversteer when entering a fast corner. In addition, the transfer case has an integrated traction control system that automatically applies braking force to the front and rear wheels.
With the ability to offer near-instant adjustments for varying driving conditions, BMW’s latest M xDrive AWD model delivers “improved all-wheel drive performance in highly dynamic driving situations, such as driving through turns in a controlled drift,” BMW says.
This is not all. BMW M xDrive has three drive modes. The default setting is a four-wheel drive mode that provides rear-biased torque distribution. Next, 4WD Sport is dedicated to track driving and directs a greater proportion of the engine’s torque to the rear wheels. Finally, there is a 2WD mode as in the M5 CS. But in this configuration, DSC is turned off completely, perfect for smoke burning.
Other changes include 19-inch front and 20-inch alloy wheels, high-performance non-retractable tires, updated front axle geometry and a revised 14.6:1 steering ratio. M3 and M4 Competition. If you don’t like both, you can choose from two non-metallic paint options and up to eight metallic paint options, including Toronto Red Metallic and Portimao Blue Metallic, to name a few.
Unfortunately, there is a problem. BMW M xDrive is only available with the optional ZF eight-speed automatic transmission. If you like the standard six-speed manual gearbox, bad luck.
However, the 2022 BMW M3 Competition xDrive starts at $77,895 (including the $995 destination fee), nearly $4,000 more than the regular M3 Competition RWD. Meanwhile, the 2022 M4 Competition xDrive engine starts at $79,795. The first shipments arrive at BMW dealerships in the US in August.
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