The M transmission made its debut in the BMW M3 and BMW M4.
The custom M all-wheel drive system of the new BMW M3 competition sedan and BMW M4 competition coupe brings power, agility and precision to a notch.
Starting from the fourth quarter of 2021, South Africa will provide more model variants.
It brings more performance, more traction wheels, more incomparable M sensations.
Just a few weeks after the new BMW M3 Sedan and BMW M4 Coupé went on sale, BMW M GmbH adds another two variants to the model line-up by offering the M xDrive all-wheel drive system for the high-performance sports cars in the premium midsize segment for the first time.
The precise transmission of engine power to all four wheels brings supreme dynamic to the BMW M3 Competition Sedan and the BMW M4 Competition Coupé, both equipped with M xDrive.
In the new model, the eight-speed M Steptronic gearbox comes with Drivelogic’s direct power, which comes from the installed 375 kW straight six-cylinder engine.
Then, the M-specific all-wheel drive system will be distributed between the front and rear wheels as needed to always improve agility, directional stability, traction and power to focus on the track.
This allows the driver to experience an intoxicating interpretation of the hallmark M performance characteristics reflected in even quicker acceleration.
M drive and Active M Differential for superior handling dynamics.
The M drive system’s tuned power transmission control already provides a smile-inducing alternative to classical rear-wheel drive for a host of high-performance models from BMW M GmbH.
Teaming up with the all-wheel-drive system is the Active M Differential, which also ensures variable distribution of drive torque between the rear wheels as the situation demands.
This helps transfer drive torque to the road without losing power, especially when the car is being pushed hard or has less grip on one side.
The M drive system and the Active M Differential–complete with its integrated M-specific traction control–link up with the Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) system to ensure judged interaction for the driving situation at hand.
The clear aim here is to produce a dynamic driving experience blending the customary M feeling with enhanced traction and directional stability.
The M drive system uses a controlled multi-plate clutch in the transfer case for adjustable, variable distribution of drive torque between the front and rear wheels.
Optimised multi-plate clutch’s oil supply keeps the variable power splitting mechanism performing, even under hard driving on the track.
Driveshafts engineered for the BMW M3 Competition Sedan with M xDrive and BMW M4 Competition Coupé with M xDrive handled transmitting power to the front and rear differentials.
The output shafts that relay the drive torque to the wheels also bespoke items.
The all-wheel-drive system has a rear-biased setup in classic M style.
The transfer case features a bespoke control unit and integrated wheel slip limitation.
This enables it to compensate for any differences in rotational speed between the front and rear wheels, without having to involve central DSC management.
This results in enhanced all-wheel-drive performance, whose principal effect is to further intensify the sense of unshakable poise, for which M models are renowned in dynamic driving, such as powering through corners in a controlled drift.
The improvements in traction, stability, agility, and dynamism made by the combination of M xDrive and Active M Differential also result in a higher sprint capacity.
The BMW M3 Competition Sedan with M xDrive and BMW M4 Competition Coupé with M drive both need just 3.5 seconds to reach the 100 km/h mark from a standstill, making them 0.4 seconds quicker here than their rear-wheel-drive equivalents.
The dynamic transmission of power to the road in the BMW M3 Competition Sedan with M xDrive and BMW M4 Competition Coupé with M drive takes place via standard M light-alloy wheels measuring 19 inches in diameter at the front axle and 20 inches at the rear.
The forged wheels with a twin-spoke design with a Jet-Black finish are fitted with tyres measuring 275/35 R19 at the front and 285/30 R20 at the rear. Specially designed to track tyres with the same dimensions are also available as an option.
Major technical modifications optimise performance characteristics.
The all-wheel-drive technology in the new BMW M3 Competition Sedan with M xDrive and BMW M4 Competition Coupé with M drive is complemented by a double-joint spring strut front axle redesigned for these models and featuring specially adapted front axle geometry and an individually tuned steering ratio.
These extensive bespoke modifications for the all-wheel-drive system ensure that both the existing pure rear-wheel-drive variants and their new M drive siblings stand out with their engineered-without-compromise, signature M steering characteristics.
The all-wheel-drive models additionally benefit from a specially adapted version of the engine oil supply system designed to handle extremely dynamic performance.
Three M drive modes enable a customised M feeling.
M drive also allows the driver to tailor the all-wheel-drive system’s characteristics and performance to the driving situation and their individual preferences.
The desired setting can be selected directly from the setup menu of the M-specific operating system, where there is a choice of three different power transmission modes.
In the default 4WD setting, the all-wheel-drive system offers maximum traction and precisely controllable handling, while maintaining a distinctly rear-biased power split at all times.
Activating 4WD Sport mode directs an even greater proportion of the engine’s torque to the rear wheels, even in extremely dynamic driving situations, resulting in sharper agility.
The linear build-up of lateral forces, so characteristic of M models, now also makes it possible to execute controlled drifting.
Drivers can also switch off the DSC system altogether and engage 2WD mode, where drive power is related solely to the rear wheels.
If the optional M Traction Control is fitted, traction can be finely adjusted through ten stages in this setting in the same way as on the rear-wheel-drive models.
This form of power transmission without any intervention from the chassis control systems to stabilise the vehicle allows seasoned drivers to enjoy a driving experience of remarkable purity and hone their skills with the help of the optional M Drift Analyser.
Drivers can set and store their preferred M drive mode as part of the two individual M1 and M2 configurations, together with the settings for engine characteristics, damper response, steering characteristics, braking system, and other parameters.
Either configuration can then be called up instantly at any time by pressing one of the two M buttons on the steering wheel.
Individual M feeling: four models, each with their character.
By adding two all-wheel-drive model variants in the range, BMW M GmbH now offers an unrivalled variety of high-performance midsize models.
Drive power in the BMW M3 Competition Sedan and BMW M4 Competition Coupé is likewise directed to the rear wheels, here via an eight-speed M Steptronic transmission with Drivelogic.
This duo is now joined by the newly arrived BMW M3 Competition Sedan with M xDrive, and BMW M4 Competition Coupé with M xDrive.
This means the latest model generation in South Africa will span four vehicles with distinct characters, each providing their recipe for a sublime high-performance sports car offering unrestricted everyday usability.
And customers will soon find even greater scope for matching M’s distinctive approach to high-performance driving with their style when the new edition of the BMW M4 Convertible joins the model range later this year.