BMW M3 Competition RWD Races M3 Competition xDrive To Settle Age Old Debate

BMW M3 Competition RWD races xDrive AWD sibling 6 photos
Photo: YouTube screenshot
BMW M3 Competition RWD races xDrive AWD siblingBMW M3 Competition RWD races xDrive AWD siblingBMW M3 Competition RWD races xDrive AWD siblingBMW M3 Competition RWD races xDrive AWD siblingBMW M3 Competition RWD races xDrive AWD sibling
When it comes to rear-wheel drive versus all-wheel drive (or four-wheel drive, whatever), there are basically two schools of thought. There are those who prefer everything being fed to the rear wheels, which makes the driving experience more animated, shall we say, and of course those who would rather have a faster-accelerating car off the line, which means power going to all four corners.
Remember when “purists” used to blast all-wheel drive systems, claiming that their tail-happy sports cars were much more fun to drive compared to any alternative? This used to happen quite a lot, especially back when AWD systems weren’t as good as they are today in terms of performance, and the automatic gearboxes were kind of slow too.

Nowadays that’s pretty much a moot point. Today’s gearboxes shift faster than you can blink and the AWD systems are genuinely performance-oriented, especially on something like a BMW M3 Competition, a vehicle that some might call the quintessential sports sedan.

Powering the M3 Competition is a twin turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-six unit, good for 503 hp (510 ps) and 479 lb-ft (650 Nm) of torque. Now, if you value acceleration above all else, you’ll want the M3 Competition xDrive version, because it will get you from zero to 60 mph (97 kph) in just 3.4 seconds. Meanwhile, the rear-wheel drive version needs 3.8 seconds, a significant difference in the world of drag racing.

Thanks to Carwow’s Mat Watson, you can see exactly what it means to distribute those 503 hp efficiently between the axles, as opposed to forcing them onto the rear wheels exclusively. The xDrive variant won every single race, both over a quarter mile and a half mile.

The slightly more lightweight RWD model does eventually catch up and overtake the xDrive version, but that only happens once the two begin approaching their top speed.

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About the author: Sergiu Tudose
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Sergiu got to experience both American and European car "scenes" at an early age (his father drove a Ford Fiesta XR2 supermini in the 80s). After spending over 15 years at local and international auto publications, he's starting to appreciate comfort behind the wheel more than raw power and acceleration.
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