When the all-new BMW M3 sedan and M4 coupe were unveiled last fall, BMW acknowledged that the duo would offer all-wheel drive for the first time. Now the AWD M3 and M4 are here, and as expected, xDrive makes the already blisteringly quick coupe and sedan even quicker.
On the M3 and M4, xDrive is available only on the ne-plus-ultra Competition variants. Like the 2021 coupe and sedan, the 2022 M3/M4 Competition cars are powered by the S58B30T0 turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-six, making 503 horsepower and 479 lb-ft of torque. BMW says the M3 and M4 Competition with xDrive can rocket from zero to 60 mph in 3.4 seconds, which is 0.4 seconds quicker than their rear-wheel-drive counterparts. This despite a weight penalty of 99 pounds (M4) and 100 pounds (M3).
Both the xDrive and rear-wheel-drive M3/M4 are offered exclusively with the eight-speed M Steptronic automatic transmission. Buyers who want a manual transmission have to content themselves with the regular M3 or M4, which comes only with a stick shift.
The xDrive system in the 2022 BMW M3/M4 defaults to rear-wheel drive, diverting torque to the front wheels only in the event of wheel slippage. Front-to-rear torque apportionment is handled by a transfer case with an electronically controlled multi-plate clutch. An Active M differential shuttles torque across the rear axle, and both work in tandem with the DSC system to use torque vectoring to aid cornering.
The xDrive system had three driver-selectable modes: 4WD, 4WD Sport, and 2WD. The rear-biased 4WD setting is the default, while the 4WD Sport setting has an even greater rear bias that BMW says is designed for track environments. Selecting 2WD mode disables the DSC system "and affords experienced drivers a pure rear-wheel-drive experience".
The xDrive cars' 19-inch front wheels and 20-inch rears are the same as their RWD siblings, but the xDrive models have a quicker steering rack (14.6:1 versus 15.0:1) and an upgraded oil system. As on other M3/M4 variants, options include the M Drive Professional package with its lap timer and Drift Analyzer, M Compound brakes (with red or black calipers), M Carbon Ceramic brakes, and the M Driver's package that increases the top-speed limiter to 180 mph.
The M3 Competition xDrive sedan is $77,895 (including the $995 destination charge), while the M4 Competition xDrive coupe is $79,795 before options. That represents a premium of $4,100 over the price of the 2021 rear-wheel-drive Competition models. The AWD M cars are set to arrive at dealerships in August.