BMW M3 and M4 Competition are quicker with all-wheel drive

BMW's xDrive tech is a $4,100 upgrade on the Competition models.

Oh lawd, they comin'.

Sales of the new BMW M3 sedan and M4 coupe are well underway. The standard and Competition models are only available with rear-wheel drive right now, but if you're holding out for an all-wheel drive option you won't have to wait much longer. BMW confirmed details of the new M3 and M4 xDrive models on Sunday, both of which will go on sale in August.

All-wheel drive is only available with the more-powerful M3 Competition and M4 Competition variants. This means you get the higher-output version of BMW's 3.0-liter twin-turbo I6 with 503 horsepower and 479 pound-feet of torque. Of course, because AWD models are Competition-only, that means they're automatic-only, too. If you were hoping for an AWD M3/M4 with the six-speed manual transmission, it's nothing but sad trombones for you.

With all-wheel drive, BMW says the M3 Competition and M4 Competition can accelerate to 60 mph in 3.4 seconds, a 0.4-second improvement over their RWD counterparts. That's despite the AWD cars lugging around an extra 100 pounds of weight.

Like BMW's other all-wheel-drive M cars, the M3 and M4 default to rear-wheel drive during normal driving, with a torque-vectoring rear differential moving power side to side. The xDrive system can send power to the front axle as needed. The 4WD Sport mode keeps a stronger rear bias while distributing power, and you can lock the M3 and M4 into a rear-only 2WD mode -- but only when the stability control system is turned off. (In other words, that's Drift Mode.)

The all-wheel-drive M3 and M4 are available with the same colors and options as the RWD Competition models, but xDrive itself is a relatively costly upgrade. Starting prices for the M3 Competition xDrive and M4 Competition xDrive are $77,895 and $79,795, respectively, including $995 for destination. That makes the AWD models $4,100 more expensive than their rear-drive siblings. Performance always comes at a price.

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