At the Beijing Auto Show, BMW introduced the all-wheel drive system xDrive on its 7-Series based crossover and the 5 Series Gran Turismo. Powering the BMW 550i xDrive Gran Turismo is a V8 featuring BMW TwinPower Turbo technology and high precision injection. It utilizes the same xDrive system as the BMW 7 Series.
The complex 4WD system, which was initially conceived for the BMW X models and subsequently launched in the BMW 5 and the BMW 3 Series, offers a high level of precision on rough surfaces, but especially on the road. The 550i, which features the largest engine available for this model, was the first version of the GT to get the xDrive.
The xDrive boasts of providing exclusive qualities, including intelligent all-wheel drive that offers optimum grip on the road in every situation.
Under normal conditions, the power is distributed on 40 : 60 ratio front to rear. The system can vary the distribution of drive power when necessary, within fractions of a second.
For instance, the rear wheels get more power on dry fast roads so as to increase agility and avoid understeer. In fact, up to 80% of the drive power goes to the rear wheels.
Unlike a conventional all-wheel-drive system, BMW xDrive doesn't only respond when a wheel begins to spin.
It stabilizes the car even before the driver sees any need for action. This is targeted specifically for the US market, where the Mercedes-Benz R-Class is already offered with 4WD.
The 550i Gran Turismo xDrive will go on sale starting June. There are rumors that in September, BMW will introduce all-wheel drive on the 535i and 530d GT models.