The 2003 BMW X5 | Part Four

BMW xDrive Multidisc Clutch

BMW X5

The xDrive concept comprises two key ingredients - an electrically activated multiple-plate clutch which changes drive distribution from axle-to-axle, and the familiar DSC system that regulates power to each wheel. Responding in just 100 milliseconds, xDrive is far quicker than more conventional four-wheel-drive systems which rely on the build up of hydraulic pressure to channel drive forces.

Helmut Riedl, Chassis Director BMW Group commented, "xDrive is the perfect system for maximising the driving enjoyment of BMW's Sports Activity Vehicles. Through its variable distribution of drive, front-to-rear, it offers intelligent power as an antidote to loss of control, rather than braking or power reduction via DSC. xDrive keeps the fun in driving."

The intelligence of xDrive comes from Dynamic Stability Control (DSC), now standard with all new BMW cars, which delivers a wealth of vehicle data including individual wheel speed, steering angle, lateral acceleration and yaw rates. By constantly processing this information, xDrive is able to detect situations in which traction loss is likely in an instant and to transfer drive variably front-to-back the moment that grip is lost.

Naturally DSC can intervene but, because of xDrive's ability to re-direct power and prevent traction loss, it does so far less frequently and only in extreme circumstances. Where traction loss is unavoidable, DSC cuts power and, if necessary, applies brakes to individual wheels allowing the car to regain a foothold, but not necessarily slowing the car's progress.
2003 BMW X5 | Part Five
Published 22 November 2003 Melanie Carter

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