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Home The Market BMW’s M3 and M4 get all-wheel drive

BMW’s M3 and M4 get all-wheel drive

M xDrive AWD designed to make full use of 479 pound-feet of torque from turbocharged inline-6 engine

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BMW says it will offer the its first M3 and M4 performance vehicles for the first time with “M xDrive all-wheel drive” beginning in August 2021. The M3 sedan and M4 coupe will be powered by 3.0-liter inline 6-cylinder engines turbocharged to provide 503 horsepower and 479 pound-feet of torque.

“The additional traction will enable the full 479 lb.-ft. of torque to be used to a greater extent during both acceleration and dynamic driving,” BMW of North America said in the announcement.

BMW M3
Also arriving in August is the new M3

“The fully variable, rear-biased system distributes torque between the front and rear axles via an electronically controlled multi-plate clutch. An Active M differential takes care of torque distribution at the rear axle. Torque is directed to the rear wheels during normal driving, providing the classic rear-wheel drive experience. Only when additional traction is required, is torque sent to the front axle.”

BMW said the M xDrive and the Active M differential are directly connected to the vehicle’s dynamic stability control system “ensuring quicker responses in improving agility and controlling both understeer and oversteer. 

“The transfer case also features a unique control unit and integrated traction control. This enables it to compensate for any differences in rotational speed between the front and rear wheels quickly, without having to involve the central DSC computer. This results in enhanced all-wheel-drive performance in highly dynamic driving situations, such as powering through corners in a controlled drift.”

Also offered are 3 driving modes — 4WD, which is the default setting; 4WD Sport, designed especially for on-track driving; and 2WD, which requires the dynamic stability system to be turned off and thus “affords experienced drivers a pure rear-wheel-drive experience without any system intervention.”

BMW says the M3 sedan and M4 coupe will sprint to 60 mph in 3.4 seconds, “making them 0.4 seconds quicker here than their rear-wheel-drive counterparts.” 

Pricing for the M3 Competition xDrive sedan sedan starts at $76,900 and at $78,800 for the M4 Competition xDrive coupe.

Competition xDrive cars get 8-speed M Steptronic automatic transmissions, adaptive M suspension, M Sport rear differential and 19-inch front and 20-inch M light-alloy wheels with Z-rated and non-runflat performance tires. 

Also standard are power and heated front sport seats with lumbar support, M seat belts, aluminum interior trim, iDrive 7, Harman-Kardon audio, active safety technology and driving assistant.

For more information, visit the BMW website.

Larry Edsall
A former daily newspaper sports editor, Larry Edsall spent a dozen years as an editor at AutoWeek magazine before making the transition to writing for the web and becoming the author of more than 15 automotive books. In addition to being founding editor at ClassicCars.com, Larry has written for The New York Times and The Detroit News and was an adjunct honors professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.

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