It's so shallow to think that the only thing you lose with AWD is going sideways.
AWD cars have heavier front end, they understeer and they are not as balanced. Also their steering doesn't feel as direct because of the torque steer.
Why M3 is M3? Because it doesn't understeer, and it has 50%-50% weight distribution. Quiet simple isn't it? AWD is EXACT OPPOSITE of M3.
There are some good AWDs in the market. Like Audi R8, like Porsche. But These cars don't have an engine in front. And they have a completely different character. The only M3 competitor with AWD is Audi RS5. And look at the Audi RS4- S4- S5-RS5 reviews from respected resources like Top Gear or Chris Harris. They constantly complain about the feel of the front end and understeer!
BMW would make WAY MORE MONEY if they go AWD with M cars. I'm in new England, and if I search for an RS4 or RS5 from cars.com I will find one in 10 miles radius, because people are MISTAKINGLY CONVINCED that you can't drive a RWD in New England. I do, on blizzaks, and I didn't even slide once.
I would find an M3 in New Jersey or something, in most cases.
That's why I respect BMW's decision to stick with AWD in M cars VERY MUCH. Although BMW has lost some of his character in the last era I appreciate them for this. I would never-ever buy an M3 with AWD. And I NEVER drive sideways.
If you want AWD, it doesn't make sense to go with flared fenders, carbon fiber roof, etc because you have already screwed up the BMW feel. So anyone who needs AWD should go for an 335i and hopefully this will be the case for a long while.
Originally Posted by v1k1ng01
(1) Not true... X-Drive is one of the best AWD drivetrains on the market
. It's also a brilliant drivetrain that adds to overall performance to the vehicle
. I don't doubt that you may lose much of the sideways drifting fun that an M3 presents, but that's only valuable on the track. Normal people don't track their everyday cars. That said, the function of the drivetrain would help it put that power down better, and in the corners dare I say, might make it faster... but I don't want to start that debate, in this thread so no hijacking.
(2) You've obviously never lived in Germany... Snow tires on the M3 might be fine for DC driving but pretty much any RWD car is horrible on snowed German roads... any AWD system with all seasons are better... Also with Autobahn's where you don't have a speed limit why on earth wouldn't you want to own a performance car? With the road conditions off the autobahn owning a performance AWD vehicle in Germany is very enticing.
(3) The higher ride height on x-drive models does make a difference in poor road conditions like snow, rock's, dip's and ice. If these kinds of things are important then this does make a difference, which would seem to go with how x-drive is marketed. That said, I'm betting if you slammed the car on a super low and tight suspension you wouldn't see the characteristics you are describing. I also call total BS on your last sentence... it's a subjective opinion and not everybody lives in DC. I'll also point out that the 335i x-drive does have a faster 0-60 and quarter mile times published then the RWD version.