When the new BMW M3 and M4 were revealed last year, the big news was the fact that all-wheel-drive versions were on the way.
The super saloon/coupe combo have always been rear-wheel-drive, but with power outputs reaching ludicrous levels in recent generations, getting all that performance to the road through two wheels has proved challenging.
While some buyers find this feisty behaviour fun, for many the spiky behaviour can be frustrating. That’s where these new xDrive models come in.
With power split between all four wheels the driver can make the most of the 503bhp on offer, with the result being an improved 0-60mph time of 3.3 seconds, 0.4 faster than the rear-wheel-drive cars.
The all-wheel-drive system has been specially designed for use in BMW’s M cars and can distribute the power to the wheels with the most grip.
It starts out with a safer setup that sees all four wheels provided with power, while a 4WD Sport setting sends more power to the back tyres and brings the front wheels into play when required, giving the traditional sports car driving sensation but with more grip and acceleration out of corners.
A ‘2WD’ mode, however, will ensure that power is not routed to the fronts at all to get the classic M feeling and allow for controlled drifts.
The all-wheel-drive system will have added some weight and contributes to slightly worse fuel economy figures, which have gone from 28.8 – 29.4mpg to 28.0 – 28.2mpg.
The BMW M3 and M4 xDrive models are slightly more expensive than their rear-wheel-drive counterparts – at £77,015 and £78,315 respectively, they command a £2,200 premium.