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How Does BMW xDrive All-Wheel Drive Technology Work?

2020 BMW X3 parked
What does BMW xDrive mean? BMW xDrive is the branded name of the intelligent BMW all-wheel drive system–a name which has been in use since the technology came out in 2003. How does it work, what sets it apart, and which BMW models offer xDrive? Find out the answer to all these questions at Tulley BMW of Nashua, your local authorized BMW Center near Manchester. Then find out more about why you should buy a BMW today!


How Does BMW xDrive Work?

In general, all-wheel drive systems are designed to provide more traction than front-wheel drive or rear-wheel drive systems. But what sets xDrive all-wheel drive apart from other all-wheel drive systems?

  • Between 1985 and 2003, BMW models with all-wheel drive systems used center and rear differentials with viscous couplings to vary the torque split between wheels.
  • Now, xDrive uses an electronically-actuated clutch-pack differential to vary the torque between the front and rear axles.
  • In other words, BMW xDrive uses an electronic stability control system (called Dynamic Stability Control in a BMW)–which uses the brakes to transfer torque away from the axle with the slipping wheel

Dynamic Stability Control uses electronic sensors to monitor road conditions, vehicle speed, and wheel speed:

  • If the sensors detect slippery surfaces or loss of traction, the electronically controlled system sends power to the wheels with the most traction.
  • This helps to regain control during wheel slippage.

Dynamic Performance Control (DPC) is offered as a more advanced version of xDrive, which can increase agility when taking fast corners on Lowell, MA roads:

  • DPC can distribute power not only between the front and rear axles, but also between the two individual rear wheels
  • DPC can also help correct oversteer and understeer.

There is no BMW 4-wheel drive system, but the xDrive system with DPC comes very close with its intelligent technology.

Which Models are Available with BMW xDrive

Nearly all BMW models offer xDrive, with the exception of the BMW Z4, M2, M4, i3, and i8 (although this model has its own hybrid all-wheel drive system). See below to find out which models peak your interest at our Lowell, MA-area retailer.

New BMW SAV® (Sport Activity Vehicle®) Models

    • BMW X1 – available
    • BMW X2 – available
    • BMW X3 – available
  • BMW X4 – standard
    • BMW X5 – available
    • BMW X6 – available
  • BMW X7 – standard

New BMW Sedans, Coupes, and Convertibles

  • BMW 2 Series – available
  • BMW 3 Series – available
  • BMW 4 Series – available
  • BMW 5 Series – available
  • BMW 7 Series – available
  • BMW 8 Series – available

New BMW M Models

  • M5 – standard
  • M8 – standard
  • X3 M – standard
  • X4 M – standard
  • X5 M – standard
  • X6 M – standard

Test Drive xDrive at Tulley BMW of Nashua

Ready to get a feel for the BMW xDrive intelligent all-wheel drive system in person and have an ultimate driving experience? Contact Tulley BMW of Nashua to schedule a test drive near Westford, or to ask us any more BMW questions like what BMW stands for and what is the fastest BMW in production today!

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