BMW PRO Driver Bill Auberlen takes us around the track in the all-new BMW M4 xDrive all-wheel drive. The race track of choice today is the Thermal Club in Palm Springs, California. Bill goes for a few hot laps while also chasing another BMW M4 xDrive, driven by BMW PRO Driver John Edwards. Both drivers demonstrate the capabilities of the all-wheel drive system in the new BMW M3 and M4, of course, with some drifting as well.

Aside from the addition of the all-wheel drive, the new model is still an M4 Competition under the skin. Which means it uses a 3.0 liter twin-turbocharged I6 to make 503 horsepower and 479 lb-ft of torque. Its eight-speed auto sends the power to the wheels through an electronically-controlled limited-slip rear diff.

The BMW M xDrive systems in the new M3 and M4 works very similarly to how it works in the M5. There are three modes; 4WD, 4WD Sport, and 2WD, just as there are in the M5 and M8. In normal driving conditions, even in the default 4WD mode, all of the engine’s available torque is sent to the rear wheels. We ran most of the track with 4WD Sport, but at some point, Bill turned off the traction control to get some drifting in.

We also used the new BMW M Drift Analyzer which detects when you’re drifting and give you a rating. This way, if you can afford the tires and the track to drift every day, you can actually become better at it, with the help of the new M Traction Control system. This new version allows you to adjust just how much the car’s rear end can slip. Bill’s record in this video? 185 yards. The M4 xDrive in front us managed to get 385 yards of drift.

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