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EPISODE 20: BMW M3 & M4 EXPLAINED.EPISODE 20: BMW M3 & M4 EXPLAINED.

EPISODE 20: BMW M3 & M4 EXPLAINED.

5 min reading time

The BMW M xDrive all-wheel drive system in the new BMW M3 and M4.

In episode 20, BMW M developer Peter explains the BMW M xDrive all-wheel drive system of the BMW M3 and M4 Competition.

15 April 2021

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.

Peter loves maximum traction: In Episode 20, the Head of Driving Dynamics Systems BMW M3 / M4 talks about the optional BMW M xDrive all-wheel drive system in the new M vehicles. In the video, he introduces the new innovative drive system and explains elaborate technology.

BMW M3 Competition Sedan:
Fuel consumption combined in l/100 km 9.9
CO2 emissions combined in g/km 224
CO2 class G
BMW M4 Competition Coupé:
CO2 emissions combined in g/km 223
Fuel consumption combined in l/100 km 9.9
EPISODE 20: BMW M3 AND M4 EXPLAINED – xDrive.EPISODE 20: BMW M3 AND M4 EXPLAINED – xDrive.

EPISODE 20: BMW M3 AND M4 EXPLAINED – xDrive.

Start Video

BMW M ENTHUSIASTS ASK, BMW M EXPERTS ANSWER.

BMW M3 and M4 Competition Coupé.BMW M3 and M4 Competition Coupé.

In 4WD Sport is the power fixed between both axles?

No, torque split is a fully variable distribution at all times in 4WD and 4WD Sport mode. In comparison, 4WD Sport mode allows for more rear wheel slip than 4WD mode before sending more power to the front wheels.
To improve steering behaviour and cornering power of the front axle, we especially lower the front axle torque while cornering.

Peter what do you mean "Drive to the front wheels will be switched off for efficiency"?

The M xDrive can dial in fully variable torque split between front axle and rear axle. It is possible to manually switch of the front axle --> 2WD mode. Based on the given driving conditions, e.g. constant highway cruising, the system will also automatically decouple the front axle in 4WD and 4WD Sport mode to operate more efficiently.

BMW M4 Competition Coupé.BMW M4 Competition Coupé.

When the clutch pack is fully engaged, how does it allow for front wheels to spin at different speeds?

When the driving situation allows for equal wheel speed at all wheels, the clutch can be fully engaged. At conditions where different individual wheel speeds are required the clutch will be partially open.

What is the reaction time of the system engaging/disengaging the AWD?

Normally, just the torque transfer to the front axle is varied, its variation takes less than 150ms. Returning from efficiency mode shift time is less than 400ms.

BMW M3.BMW M3.

So even in 4WD, the torque is sent to the front only when needed? Or there is always some torque going?

The front axle torque split can go as low as 0% even in 4WD or 4WD Sport mode depending on the actual driving situation - think of steady highway cruising as an example.

Does the horsepower output change between 4WD and 2WD modes?

No, it is always the same power that is being sent to the wheels - no matter if 4WD, 4WD Sport or 2WD.

Does AWD set better lap times?

That completely depends on the particular track and the environmental conditions.

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