BMW to Join Audi, Mercedes and Lexus, Offer AWD on Biggest Sedan
The 7-Series, one of the last remaining holdouts in the super-luxury category to not offer AWD, will get BMW’s boringly-named xDrive all wheel drive this coming fall on the 750i and long wheelbase 750Li models. According to the press release, up to 80% of the power goes to the rear wheels, and a new computer system called “Active Chassis Management” can eat 30 hot dogs in under a minute. Here in the Northeast, nearly every new S-Class on the road has 4Matic, Audi has offered Quattro on its big sedans for 20 years and even Lexus joined the game by offering AWD on the newest LS. (I omit Jaguar’s XJ, of course, because it sells so badly that Tata won’t even report Jaguar’s sales by model). So all is well that ends well: BMW gets a slightly more competitive 7-Series, rich people don’t have to leave the 7-Series at home and take the winter-beater Range Rover, and the rest of us get to look at even more badges and stickers on the side of BMW’s cars.
Aha, but this won't increase the number of stickers on the car. The RWD ones will say SDrive and the AWD ones will have XDrive in the same place.
The only AWD car I have ever driven is a 2007 Lincoln MKZ AWD. The thing is amazing. I took it out in a heavy south Florida rain storm on Monday and floored it into a curve. The six speed automatic transmission downshifted about three gears, the 263 hp V6 howled, and the damn car did not slip at all. It felt like a rocket on rails. There is no comparison in high hp rear or front wheel drive vehicles. I had a FWD Northstar Cadillac and in the same rainy conditions driven the same way it would spin the front wheels and plow into the turn, My BMW and dads 300ZX Twin Turbo would just have been scary, and I would have spun out/flipped a RWD SUV or pick up doing something silly like that. I gained a lot of respect for high hp AWD platforms on monday.