BMW xDrive brings the ultimate thrill to motoring in intense driving conditions; all while making your time behind the wheel safer than ever before. Powering all four wheels individually, your BMW will have unbeatable traction, with just the right amount of variables to keep the experience exciting, dynamic and commanding – in any climate.
The technology behind xDrive is historic, but far from antiquated. Beginning in 1985 with the BMW 325i ‘Allrad’, the front and rear wheels were granted a power drive split, with a ratio of 37% and 63%; this structure was mimicked and refined in the innovative BMW xDrive, which allows for a custom power distribution, as determined by the demands of adverse driving conditions. The technology is now a staple of the current BMW catalogue, running through the BMW 1 Series Sports Hatch, all the way to the opulent BMW 7 Series.
The intelligence of BMW xDrive lies in its variable spread of power on all four wheels, depending on their grip on the road surface. The energy between the front and rear axles can fluctuate up to 100% to either axle, giving ultimate control in otherwise perilous climates. No stress, no problem.
A 40:60 standard split between the axles offer permanently optimised grip, while an electronically controlled gearbox and multi-plate clutch system control the differential. In a mere tenth of second, power is distributed to where it’s needed most; this is further complimented by a range of technologies such as ABS and Dynamic Stability Control (DSC).
DSC, for example, will detect a free-spinning wheel and apply the car’s brakes to stop slip. In addition, if the driver over-compensates with too much steer, the DSC will automatically regain control to prevent spin. In turn, potentially dangerous situations can be averted in conditions where oversteer and wheel spin can spark a very real hazard.
Dynamic Performance Control also works hand-in-hand with DSC, but rather than stopping a spinning wheel dead in its tracks, it utilizes a series of electronically controlled clutch plates to speed up the wheel that’s lagging. Known as torque vectoring, this technique offers enviably smooth turns, while BMW iPerformance models benefit from TwinPower Turbo engines to drive the front wheels, with a battery-powered electric motor to generate force in the rear. Depending on the different requirements of the drive, the power sources can be varied for optimum output; for example, a short city drive could use purely electric power, while a long stint on the motorway would make best use of the petrol engine. It’s beautifully intuitive and endlessly exhilarating.
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