BMW M4 Competition Coupé

The M Drift Analyser.

Episode 23: BMW M3 and M4 Explained.

The M Drift Analyser.Episode 23: 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.

BMW M developer Thomas likes to look at the world from the side window: The engineer is responsible for the M Drift Analyser, which is being offered for the first time in the BMW M3 and M4 models. The tool can be used to evaluate individual drifts or entire drift sessions - for even more driving fun. In the video, Thomas explains how to use the system. In our Q&A, he answers the community's questions

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


Is there any difference in drift behaviour between M3 and M4, or are they the same?


In principal, both models are very close in their technical setup and dimensions, weight etc. Hence no difference in drift behaviour.


Can I use this on my X5 M Competition, or can I only use the Track Mode and Laptimer?


The M Drift Analyser and 10-stage traction control are currently available for the new generation BMW M3 and M4 only. For the other models, only Track Mode and M Laptimer are available.


Does the Drift Analyser come with every M3 and M4?


It is available for all new BMW M3 / M4 / M3 Competition / M4 Competition models as part of the M Drive Professional option.


Is the Drift Analyser available on the manual transmission models?


Yes, of course.

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BMW M3 Competition

So, does it affect the Drift Analyser if u were to put drift tires on it with the traction control activated?

No, as the geometric and acceleration parameters that are monitored do not change within the analysis. However, changing the tire or changing road surfaces may require a driver's adjustment to the M Traction Control level.

What is the angle limit for this mode?

There is no limitation for the drift angle. And it is not a controlled drift mode. The driver has to react properly at any time … if you spin, it might by as high as 360° or even more. The maximum drift angle for RWD mode is limited by the maximum steering angle - approximately 35°.

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Can it be used during break in period already?

That is technically possible. Still, with regards to all mechanical components involved it is not recommended for use during break in.

Does level 10 in the traction control prevent the car from spinning and drifting at all?

No. M Traction Control is a subfunction available in DSC OFF only. The stability control is switched off completely - no brake interventions at all!

When does it make sense to drive with traction control on 10? Is it like MDM?

Level 10 is designed as a traction optimized assist for UHP tires on slippery conditions like a wet road / racetrack. For drifting, a lower level like 6 and below is recommended - depending on the grip conditions of course. Please, take a look at Episode 17 for more details on the M Traction Control.

How does the system detect the type of road surface?

The system constantly monitors parameters like yaw rate, wheel spin, steering angle and even tire temperatures.

Were any sensors added to facilitate the Drift Analyser?


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BMW M4 Competition Coupé

Does the M Drift Analyser also work on ice and snow?

Yes, of course.

Does the Drift Analyser recognize alternating curves while drifting?

Sure it does. It will give you an even higher scoring for manouveres like that!

What does the throttle icon shown in the headup display mean?

This indicates way too much overpowering of the accelerator pedal when M Traction Control and the M Drift Analyser are active. This also depends on the selected level of M Traction Control.

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BMW M4 Competition Coupé

What is the trophy icon for?

Well done! You have achieved a new high score.

What's the difference between the star rating and drift performance?

The star rating is based on the presented parameters "duration", "length" and "average angle" of the drift and some magic dust. The higher the values, the better the rating. It is renewed with every single drift. The drift performance is the "Schwimmwinkelbetragsintegral" over all drifts within a single drift session.

Can I look at the drifts afterwards?

Yes, if the Laptimer recording was active all the time you can analyse your drifts on your smartphone later. You can also share the laptimer session including the drift data with your friends using the export function within the App.

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BMW M3 Competition Coupé

Which car in the BMW fleet current or previous is your favorite to drift?

I like drifting the M2 very much and the new M3/M4 is great fun either.

Have you ever done a 5-star drift?

Sure! That was an essential and entertaining part of the development.

What's the best drift score you ever got?

I am still working on my 6-star rating …

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BMW M3 Competition


With M Drive Professional – a standard feature in the BMW M3 Competition and BMW M4 Competition and optional available in the BMW M3 and M4 – the BMW M Drift Analyser is part of the M automobile’s operating system. When activated, it automatically records all drifts performed, then analyses and evaluates them. In this video, we explain how to use the system optimally.

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BMW M3 Competition

Deactivate the Dynamic Stability Control DSC. To do this, press the key beside the gear lever for at least four seconds.


M Drift Analyser

Now you can select the M Drift Analyser in the central information display. Then confirm the relevant legal disclaimer to continue.


M Drift Analyser

When the M Drift Analyser is displayed, the system is automatically active. In the right-hand menu bar, the steps of the M traction control and the desired mode for recording (single drift or drift session) can be selected. Now you can press "Start Drift Session" and you are ready to go.

M Drift Analyser

Need a short break? You can also deactivate the M Drift Analyser at any time in this menu – which in turn automatically reactivates the DSC.  


Enjoy your drifts!

  • 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.