BMW is No.1 All-Wheel-Drive Supplier in Premium Segment

Text & photos courtesy BMW AG

BMW is No.1 All-Wheel-Drive Supplier in Premium Segment

BMW X5 and X3 lead the way

All-wheel drive is on the advance: in the successful year of 2005, one in four
of the approximately 1.13 million cars of the brand BMW sold worldwide were
fitted with the intelligent all-wheel drive system xDrive. This means that BMW
sells more all-wheel drive vehicles than any other premium supplier. This leading
position is the result of an attractive model range and the unique functionality
of the all-wheel drive system developed by BMW. BMW xDrive always distributes
drive power where it is required. With its outstanding versatility, it not only
enhances traction in difficult road conditions but also improves driving dynamics
on the road. A further market penetration can be anticipated for BMW xDrive
models in the year 2006. This is partially due to the successful models BMW
X5 and X3 in the SAV (Sports Activity Vehicles) segment as well as the sedan
and touring versions of the BMW 5 Series and 3 Series fitted with xDrive. With
21 models in four model series, the diversity is broader than ever before in
the over 20-year history of all-wheel drive at BMW. And it will soon increase
further: for 2008 BMW has announced the launch of a new, completely distinctive
series with coupé-style design, sporty character, raised seating position and
the intelligent all-wheel drive system xDrive.

BMW is No.1 All-Wheel-Drive Supplier in Premium Segment

Increased driving dynamics and optimum traction
in all conditions.

With BMW xDrive, power transmission is controlled by an electronically regulated
multi-plate clutch via a power transfer unit. This allows the drive power to
be distributed variably between the front and rear axle, always available where
it can be most effectively converted into propulsion. The control unit of the
all-wheel drive system is linked to the chassis regulation system DSC (Dynamic
Stability Control) via internal interfaces. Based on the data provided by DSC,
xDrive identifies any tendency to understeer or oversteer early on and counteracts
this with a specific alteration of the power distribution. This leads to proactive
influencing of driving response which is unique within the competitive field.
Starting from a distribution between front and rear axle of 40:60 as is prevalent
in normal driving situations, the power distribution can be altered to continuously
variable levels. According to the requirements of driving dynamics, the power
transmission proportion may vary between 50:50 and 0:100 per cent.. Thus xDrive
uniquely enhances directional stability and driving dynamics when taking bends
at speed.

BMW is No.1 All-Wheel-Drive Supplier in Premium Segment


Intelligent, quick in response
and variable.
BMW is No.1 All-Wheel-Drive Supplier in Premium Segment

On unsurfaced tracks, and over snow and ice too, the BMW xDrive provides
maximum traction as well as safe and fast acceleration. Individual wheel spin
is suppressed with fast and variable alteration of the power distribution between
front and rear axle. Under extreme traction conditions in particular, xDrive
works considerably faster and more effectively than conventional all-wheel systems.
For example, if when setting off on a snow-covered car park and a cleared road
only the front wheels are on a surface with grip, xDrive responds instantly
and effectively. Within just 0.1 of a second almost 100 per cent of the power
provided by the engine is transferred to the front axle. The otherwise common
brake application to the rear axle which causes power loss is thus unnecessary.
A BMW with xDrive moves away spontaneously, swiftly and safely.

BMW is No.1 All-Wheel-Drive Supplier in Premium Segment

BMW all-wheel expertise since 1985.
The versatile qualities of all-wheel drive from BMW have a long tradition. In
1985, the BMW 325ix was the first all-wheel drive model of the brand to provide
impressive traction as well as fascinating driving dynamics on asphalt. The
BMW 525ix followed in 1991, for the first time with variable distribution of
drive torque between front and rear axle. All-wheel expertise collected since
then has significantly enhanced the thrust of the brand BMW in the SAV market.
From the beginning, the BMW X5 (since 1999) and the BMW X3 (since 2003) have
been regarded within their segments as benchmarks for a successful combination
of high off-road potential and dynamic driving response on the road. Since then
the range of all-wheel drive sedans and touring models of the BMW 3 Series has
been further extended. The BMW 330ix, the BMW 325ix and the BMW 330dx have been
offered since 2000 with the all-wheel drive system, which was first offered
with the BMW X5. In 2003, BMW finally presented the intelligent all-wheel drive
system xDrive in both the BMW X5 and BMW X3.

BMW is No.1 All-Wheel-Drive Supplier in Premium Segment

BMW is No.1 All-Wheel-Drive Supplier in Premium Segment

One in four BMW vehicles fitted with xDrive.
BMW now offers 21 models in four model series with the intelligent all-wheel
system xDrive. In addition to its variety, the success of the all-wheel drive
models increases continuously. In 2005 one in four newly registered BMW was
fitted with x Drive. Current sales figures indicate that this share will further
increase in 2006.Even now, BMW sells more all-wheel drive vehicles than any
other premium supplier worldwide. And this leading position is not just due
to the great demand for the regular xDrive models BMW X5 and BMW X3. Together
they achieved in Germany in 2005 a market share of 18.5 per cent within their
segment. This means that BMW was the most successful brand in the category of
off-road vehicles. But in the category of sedan and touring models too, the
all-wheel drive versions have achieved a clearly dominating position in some
markets. Interestingly enough, the sales success of xDrive is particularly high
in the Alpine countries of Austria, Italy and Switzerland. In these countries,
over 65 per cent of the models BMW 530i, BMW 525i and BMW 530d were sold in
the all-wheel drive version in 2005. The absolute top model is the BMW 530d
Touring: in Austria it is sold in 80 per cent of cases with xDrive as the BMW
530xd Touring.
In Switzerland, the BMW 330i has achieved
a similar all-wheel drive quota: in four out of five orders, the choice here
falls on the 330xi. All in all, the BMW 330xi, BMW 325xi and BMW 330xd achieve
an internal model market share of over 60 per cent in Switzerland. Anyone who
is familiar with the all-wheel drive models and with these countries at the
heart of Europe will not be surprised by the figures. Lots of snow, steep mountain
passes, winding roads – these are ideal conditions for BMW’s intelligent all-wheel
drive system xDrive to display its qualities 365 days a year.
1.000.000
all-wheel drive vehicles have been sold since the first BMW all-wheel drive
model 325ix was introduced in 1985 – 500.000 of them with xDrive.

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