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In many cases upgrading to an all-wheel drive model is worth the money. Anyone who spends any time traveling on snow, icy roads, or in off-roading conditions should definitely consider it. For those that choose a BMW model, you’ll find a different kind of AWD system, xDrive, that the brand has developed over many years. What is the xDrive system, and which models can you get with it installed?

What is BMW xDrive, and how is it different from all-wheel drive?

All-wheel drive systems, for the most part, work the same despite there being a few different types. Power is sent to the front and rear wheels, and the axles can spin at different speeds allowing for better control. This becomes helpful when the vehicle experiences difficulty on a slippery surface where more tire grip is needed to avoid sliding into another object or landing in a ditch. 

However, some systems, like BMW’s xDrive, achieve the same result as an AWD system but with a more customizable experience. When it comes to the xDrive, power can be sent to the front and rear axles as well as each individual tire, depending on what’s needed for the situation.

In an AWD system, a center differential is used to run the axles at varying speeds, which helps minimize wear and tear on the vehicle. In BMW’s xDrive, the process is done using an electronically controlled multi-plate clutch, which is found between the gearbox and the driveshaft, according to J.D. Power

The system constantly collects data from the vehicle’s wheel speed sensors and will instantaneously send power to the wheels that need it to provide more or less power where it’s needed. Most of the time, it goes unnoticed by the driver.

However, it offers more than just that. It also helps your driving experience by reducing power to the inner wheels when taking a curve. While this system remains on all the time, it doesn’t actually do its job until it senses that you need it.

What models have the xDrive system?

Several BMW models have the specialized all-wheel drive system, but you have to choose an xDrive version, typically costing you around $2,000 more. For example, the 330i runs you around $43,800 without all-wheel drive. If you select the xDrive sedan, the price will cost you about $45,800, according to BMW

The 330e starts at $44,900 for the standard version, but upgrading to the intelligent xDrive model will run you about $46,900. Many other BMW models come with it as standard equipment, including the 740i xDrive, 760 xDrive, and the i7 xDrive 60. All X-Series vehicles have it standard as well. 

What about the M-Series competition vehicles?

All M-Series competition models run on a pretty powerful performance setup. For example, the X5 M Competition version runs on a 4.4-liter Twin-Turbo V8 engine producing 617 hp and is mated to a Twin-Scroll Bi-Turbo and racetrack cooling system. Since this model and others like it are high-performance models, specialized technology is installed to ensure optimal performance on the track. 

One area is with its xDrive all-wheel drive system. For these models, BMW installs an M-tuned xDrive system that adds adjustable driving modes, which include 4WD and 4WD Sporty driving methods for a more high-performance experience.

By customizing it to these competitive vehicles, you’ll get better traction, which means you can accelerate to even higher speeds with confidence. With the M xDrive models, you can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in approximately 3.5 seconds.  

When it comes to an all-wheel drivetrain, there are many different types. However, BMW designed its own system that provides the same benefits using its xDrive technology, which not only prevents loss of control of the vehicle but also improves its overall driving experience. 

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