2022 BMW M3 and M4 Competition xDrive adds all-wheel-drive with three drive modes

BMW is upping the ante by adding its proprietary xDrive AWD system in the 2022 BMW M3 and M4 Competition models. It's the first time for the M3 sedan and M4 coupe to receive an all-wheel drivetrain, and it only means good things for both Competition versions of the newest M3 and M4.

Of course, AWD means better traction on all types of road surfaces. BMW claims the additional traction from its latest M xDrive system in the M3 and M4 will "enable the full 749 pound-feet of torque to be used to a greater extent during both acceleration and dynamic driving."

True to form, xDrive-equipped M3 Competition and M4 models accelerate faster than standard Competition models with RWD. Engine output remains the same at 503 horsepower and 479 pound-feet of torque. But with xDrive AWD, the M3 and M4 Competition are 0.4 seconds faster to 60 mph than a RWD variant, performing the deed in only 3.4-seconds.

BMW's newest M xDrive for the 2022 M3 Competition and M4 Competition is a fully variable, rear-biased system with an electronic multi-plate clutch. Meanwhile, there's an Active M Differential to handle torque distribution at the rear axle. In everyday driving, engine torque goes to the rear wheels to improve fuel economy without penalizing BMW's classic rear-wheel-drive driving experience.

However, M xDrive sends torque to the front wheels when additional traction is required. The standard Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) system governs the Active M Differential and the AWD system to prevent understeer and oversteer when entering a fast corner. Additionally, the transfer case has an integrated traction control system that automatically applies braking force to the front and rear wheels.

With the ability to offer near-instantaneous adjustments to varying driving conditions, BMW's newest M xDrive AWD offers "enhanced all-wheel-drive performance in highly dynamic driving situations, such as powering through corners in a controlled drift," said BMW.

That's not all. BMW's M xDrive has three drivetrain modes. The default setting is 4WD mode that offers rear-biased torque distribution. Next, 4WD Sport is for track driving and directs a more significant percentage of engine torque to the rear wheels. Finally, there's a 2WD mode like in an M5 CS. But in this configuration, the DSC is turned entirely OFF, perfect for smoky burnouts.

Other changes include forged 19-inch front and 20-inch alloy wheels, non-runflat high-performance tires, an updated front axle geometry, and a revised 14.6:1 steering ratio. BMW offers two new frozen matt paint colors (Sao Paolo Yellow and Alpine White) for AWD models of the M3 and M4 Competition. If you don't like both, you can choose from two non-metallic and up to eight metallic paint options, including Toronto Red Metallic and Portimao Blue Metallic, to name a few.

Alas, there's a catch. BMW's M xDrive is only available with the optional ZF eight-speed automatic gearbox. If you like the standard six-speed manual gearbox, tough luck.

Nevertheless, the 2022 BMW M3 Competition xDrive starts at $77,895 (including $995 destination fees), approximately $4,000 more than a regular M3 Competition RWD. Meanwhile, the 2022 M4 Competition xDrive starts at $79,795. The first deliveries are arriving at U.S. BMW dealerships this August.