Seen on: Various BMW vehicles
How it works: BMW is best known for its rear-wheel-driven sports car handling. So when the automaker designed its xDrive AWD system for use of its sport sedans, crossovers, and SUVs, it stuck with what it knew and started with a RWD platform. In its resting state, a clutch outputting to the front axle sits opens, sending 100 percent of power to the vehicle's rear axle. However, under most driving conditions, that clutch is activated and maintains an actual torque split that sits closer to a more stable 40/60 front to rear split. Power distribution is variable, so if the vehicle detects understeer while cornering, it may send more power to the rear axle to help rotate the vehicle. Likewise, the xDrive system may send up to 50 percent of power to the front axle to counteract oversteer. From the driver's seat, it's highly unlikely that you'll notice any of this happening.
May 23, 2011 7:45 PM PDT
Photo by: BMW
| Caption by: Antuan Goodwin
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