2021 BMW M3 and M4 Competition XDrives Arrive Soon

Jason R. Sakurai
by Jason R. Sakurai

BMW’s 2021 M3 and M4 Competition cars, both endowed with xDrive all-wheel-drive, will arrive in August. Four hundred and seventy-nine lb-ft of torque is on tap.

As BMW explains, both cars have three driving modes, the first being 4WD or default. While rear-wheel biased, the focus is on traction and handling. 4WD Sport, the second mode, sends more torque to the rear wheels for on-track exercises. Lastly, 2WD allows the Dynamic Stability Control System (DCS) to be turned off to achieve a pure rear-wheel-drive experience. Is this applicable to keeping your M car from unplanned off-highway excursions along M-59 in the winter? It’s doubtful, but then again, how many M3s or M4s ever see harsh winter weather?

BMW says improvements in traction, stability, and agility improvements translate into improved acceleration. You know we want to put that to the test. The M3 Competition xDrive Sedan and M4 Competition xDrive Coupé will do 0-60 in 3.4 seconds, 0.4 seconds quicker than their rear-drive counterparts. Depending on the equipment, their top speed is 155 mph or 180 MPH. We’ll circle back to these claims should we receive BMW’s invitation.

An electronically controlled, multi-plate clutch distributes torque between the front and rear axles. The Active M differential takes the torque from there, providing that BMW rear-wheel-drive experience. Torque is redirected to the front axle only when traction is needed. Powering through corners in a controlled drift, a highly dynamic driving situation as BMW describes it, is what we’d like to experience in the way of all-wheel-driven performance.

The S58B30T0 turbocharged six-cylinder registers 503 horsepower at 6,250 rpm on high test. The eight-speed M Steptronic automatic transmission eliminates the fun of shifting yourself. Upgrading the oiling system matches the traction and performance improvements. The M cars roll on forged 19-inch M fronts with 275/35ZR19s and 20-inch rears on 285/30ZR20s. The front axle geometry re-do, and retuning the steering ratio from 15.0:1 to 14.6:1, make these AWDs agile, just what BMW M drivers expect.

The cost? The M3 Competition xDrive Sedan’s MSRP is $76,900, plus a $995 destination charge. The M4 Competition xDrive Coupe is slightly higher, with an MSRP of $78,800, plus the same destination charge. Look for them to arrive in showrooms near you in August.

[Images: BMW]

Jason R. Sakurai
Jason R. Sakurai

With a father who owned a dealership, I literally grew up in the business. After college, I worked for GM, Nissan and Mazda, writing articles for automotive enthusiast magazines as a side gig. I discovered you could make a living selling ad space at Four Wheeler magazine, before I moved on to selling TV for the National Hot Rod Association. After that, I started Roadhouse, a marketing, advertising and PR firm dedicated to the automotive, outdoor/apparel, and entertainment industries. Through the years, I continued writing, shooting, and editing. It keep things interesting.

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  • Dal20402 Dal20402 on Apr 19, 2021

    The M3/M4 is now the ultimate example of how to ruin a car by focusing only on performance numbers in development.

    • EX35 EX35 on Apr 19, 2021

      They also took all the fun out of it by putting a lame auto tranny w/ TC (not even a DCT) and some overcomplicated awd system that isn’t needed. Yet they put relatively skinny crap tires in the rear. A car with 500+HP needs 305s at a minimum.

  • Boowiebear Boowiebear on Apr 19, 2021

    How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?

  • 3-On-The-Tree I don’t think Toyotas going down.
  • ToolGuy Random thoughts (bulleted list because it should work on this page):• Carlos Tavares is a very smart individual.• I get the sense that the western hemisphere portion of Stellantis was even more messed up than he originally believed (I have no data), which is why the plan (old plan, original plan) has taken longer than expected (longer than I expected).• All the OEMs who have taken a serious look at what is happening with EVs in China have had to take a step back and reassess (oversimplification: they were thinking mostly business-as-usual with some tweaks here and there, and now realize they have bigger issues, much bigger, really big).• You (dear TTAC reader) aren't ready to hear this yet, but the EV thing is a tsunami (the thing has already done the thing, just hasn't reached you yet). I hesitate to even tell you, but it is the truth.
  • ToolGuy ¶ I have kicked around doing an engine rebuild at some point (I never have on an automobile); right now my interest level in that is pretty low, say 2/5.¶ It could be interesting to do an engine swap at some point (also haven't done that), call that 2/5 as well.¶ Building a kit car would be interesting but a big commitment, let's say 1/5 realistically.¶ Frame-up restoration, very little interest, 1/5.¶ I have repainted a vehicle (down to bare metal) and that was interesting/engaging (didn't have the right facilities, but made it work, sort of lol).¶ Taking a vehicle which I like where the ICE has given out and converting it to EV sounds engaging and appealing. Would not do it anytime soon, maybe 3 to 5 years out. Current interest level 4/5.¶ Building my own car (from scratch) would have some significant hurdles. Unless I started my own car company, which might involve other hurdles. 😉
  • Rover Sig "Value" is what people perceive as its worth. What is the worth or value of an EV somebody creates out of a used car? People value different things, but for a vehicle, people generally ascribe worth in terms of reliability, maintainability, safety, appearance and style, utility (payload, range, etc.), convenience, operating cost, projected life, support network, etc. "Value for money" means how much worth would people think it had compared to competing vehicles on the market, in other words, would it be a good deal to buy one, compared to other vehicles one could get? Consider what price you would have to ask for it, including the parts and labor you put into it, because that would affect the “for the money” part of the “value for money” calculation. An indicator of whether people think an EV-built-in-a-used-car would provide "value for money" is the current level of demand for used cars turned into EVs. Are there a lot of people looking for these on the market? Or would building one just be a hobby? Repairing an existing EV, bringing it back into spec, might create better value for the money. Although demand for EVs is reportedly down recently.
  • ToolGuy Those of you who aren't listening to the TTAC Podcast, you really don't know what you are missing.
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