BMW M4 Competition Coupé


Episode 17: BMW M3 and M4 Explained.

M Traction Control.Episode 17: BMW M3 and M4 Explained.

The epitome of racing feeling in everyday traffic starts a new round. 35 years after the debut of the first BMW M3, BMW M GmbH presents the latest generation of its high-performance automobiles in the premium mid-size segment. Time to introduce the two new vehicles. In the #M3M4explained series, the developers have the floor.

Just acceleration: When Manuel develops a vehicle, the main focus is on stability and dynamics. The BMW M developer is responsible for the new M Traction Control. In the video, Manuel introduces it - and shows, among other things, what it can do at the limit.


BMW M3 Sedan:
Fuel consumption in l/100 km (combined): 9.9-10.2 (WLTP)
CO2 emissions in g/km (combined): 226-231 (WLTP)

BMW M4 Competition Coupé:
Fuel consumption in l/100 km (combined): 9.6-9.8 (WLTP)
CO2 emissions in g/km (combined): 219-224 (WLTP)

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BMW M3 M4 Explained


Can we engage M Dynamic Mode (MDM) while DSC traction is at step 0 for more fun?


No. With M Traction Control you are driving in DSC OFF mode, i.e. the car will be under your full control, but only yours! MDM as part of the DSC uses additional brake intervention to further stabilize the vehicle.


Which M Traction Control level corresponds to MDM?


M Traction Control and MDM are different functions, hence there is no M Traction Control setting which equals MDM.
Simply spoken, M Traction Control is a slip control mechanism that controls rear wheel slip in 10 stages when DSC is switched off. Level 0 is OFF and allows for unlimited wheel spin. The higher levels allow for very limited slip. The slip is controlled using the engine‘s rpm as the only parameter. The vehicle’s yaw rate is not a controlled parameter here.
In contrast to M Traction Control, MDM is a part of the DSC mechanism and actively controls the vehicle‘s yaw rate. DSC/MDM use engine power controls as well as brake interventions to stabilize the vehicle dynamics on the road. MDM uses M Traction Control levels 4 to 7 depending on yaw rate behaviour.

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BMW M3 Competition Coupé

All new BMW M3 and M4 models use an electronically controlled limited slip differential.

Does that mean that the new M3 and M4 has an electronic LSD?

Yes, all new BMW M3 and M4 models use an electronically controlled limited slip differential. Take a look at episode 16 for further details on the rear differential.

Does the MDM come as standard? And is it also available for the manual?

Yes, MDM comes as standard for all M models including the manual transmission models.

Does the M Traction Control come as standard?

Generally speaking, M Traction Control is part of the optional M Drive Professional (option code 1MB) which comes as standard in some markets. Please, refer to your local dealer information.

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BMW M4 Competition Coupé

The four individual wheel speed signals are the main sensors used to determine the actual vehicle speed.

What are the main sensors the system uses to determine the car's ground speed?

The main sensors used are the four individual wheel speed signals to determine the actual vehicle speed.

To configure the M traction control, should the DSC be off?

Yes, M Traction Control is available in DSC OFF mode only.

Can the MDM system be turned off?

Yes, DSC / MDM can be switched off completely. (DSC OFF requires a long pressing - approximately 3 seconds - on the DSC button.)

In what settings of the traction and stability control can you engage launch control?

Spoiler alert! Watch out for another episode to come.

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BMW M4 Competition Coupé

The four individual wheel speed signals are the main sensors used to determine the actual vehicle speed.

Where are you from Manuel?

I was born and raised in Bavaria.

What did you major in?

I majored in automotive engineering.

Where did you learn to drift like that?

I was young and loved driving – having a job like mine was helpful as well.

Did you engage in kart racing in the past?

I used to participate in kart slalom cups.

Is drifting part of your job?

You can take that for granted.

What is your favorite classic BMW?

BMW E9 – 3.0 CSL.

What is your favorite BMW engine?

I like the S54 and S65 the most.

What's in your garage?

A BMW Z4 M roadster for fun and a BMW 335d Touring (E91) as Daily.

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How to use M Traction Control


The M Traction Control in the BMW M3 Competition Limousine and BMW M4 Competition Coupé combines excellent control and maximum driving pleasure. It’s also available as an option in the BMW M3 Sedan and the BMW M3 Coupé.

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BMW M3 Competition centre console

Deactivate the Dynamic Stability Control DSC. To do this, press the key beside the gear lever for at least four seconds.
Now open the Setup menu using the key in the central console. Here you’ll find the controls for the M Traction Control.  


M Traction Control setup in the BMW M3 Competition

Now you can set your desired level. The higher it is, the less rear wheel-slip the system will allow. Which means the less the car will drift. M Traction Control can thus serve as an effective aid to traction – for instance to accelerate faster out of bends on racetracks.


BMW M3 Competition

If you select a low level, the slip control is opened wider. The ensuing higher level of slip on the rear wheels enables the engine torque to make the car oversteer and start drifting. Thanks to the ten-step system, you can approach a complete oversteer cautiously and gradually. There’s more info in our How-to on the BMW M Drift Analyser.


Enjoy your driving and drifting!

  • The models illustrated include optional equipment.

    Due to regular software updates, screen designs in the communication may differ from the actual screen design in your car.

    Official data on power consumption and electric range were determined in accordance with the mandatory measurement procedure and comply with Regulation (EU) 715/2007 valid at the time of type approval. In case of a range, figures in the NEDC take into account differences in the selected wheel and tire size; figures in the WLTP take into account any optional equipment. WLTP values are used for assessing taxes and other vehicle-related charges that are (also) based on CO2 emissions, as well as for the purposes of vehicle-specific subsidies, if applicable. Where applicable, the NEDC values listed were calculated based on the new WLTP measurement procedure and then converted back to the NEDC measurement procedure for comparability reasons. For newly type-tested vehicles since 01.01.2021, the official data no longer exist according to NEDC, but only according to WLTP. For more information on the WLTP and NEDC measurement procedures, see

    For further information about the official fuel consumption and the specific CO2 emission of new passenger cars can be taken out of the „handbook of fuel consumption, the CO2 emission and power consumption of new passenger cars“, which is available at all selling points and at

    All vehicles, equipment, combination possibilities and varieties shown here are examples and can differ in your country. In no way do they constitute a binding offer by the BMW M GmbH. Visit your local BMW website or see your authorised BMW M Retailer for accurate details on the offers in your country.