As a fan of BMW, the idea of an all-wheel drive M3 does admittedly feel a bit weird. However, after spending a lot of time with the M3 Competition, xDrive all-wheel drive actually seems to make a lot of sense. There’s just so much instant power on tap that the M3 Comp can feel a bit too spikey, with all of its six-cylinder fury being sent to just the rear wheels. However, all-wheel drive can help manage all of that power and let you actually use it.
If it isn’t fun to drive, though, does it really matter how much more effective it is with all-wheel drive? Steve Sutcliffe finds out in this new video from EVO.
The BMW M3 Competition xDrive makes the same amount of power as the standard car, with its 3.0 liter twin-turbocharged I6 making 503 horsepower and 479 lb-ft of torque, only it’s a bit heavier, due to xDrive. However, despite that, the M3 Comp xDrive is actually half of a second faster around the Bedform Autodrome, with the same tires, on the same day. So it’s the better track car for sure.
But is it the better car to drive? Seems that way, actually. The xDrive system will send as much power as it absolutely can to the rear wheels, while only sending as much power as needed to the front wheels to keep things going straight. Sutcliffe demonstrates that by switching everything to Sport Plus Mode, 4WD Sport on, and all of the traction control nannies off and throwing it hard into a corner. Even with his foot planted to the floor, the rear end stepped out but the front wheels helped beautifully hold the slide, so he could accurate keep his line while still sliding the car around. The ease of use, while still maintaining the M3’s balance and poise, is remarkable.
So much so, in fact, that Sutcliffe claims the xDrive model is the BMW M3 Competition to get. He says it’s the one he’d buy if he were to get an M3 and that’s mighty high praise coming from one of the best driving motoring journalists around.