X Drive | 4 Motion | 4 Matic | Quattro | how do they compare

These four all-wheel drive (AWD) systems are utilized by various automotive manufacturers to enhance traction and handling in different ways. Let's dive into the technical details:

BMW xDrive:

BMW's xDrive system is known for its rear-biased AWD setup. It is designed to provide improved traction and stability, particularly in slippery conditions. The xDrive system uses a multi-plate clutch in the transfer case to distribute power between the front and rear wheels. It's generally rear-wheel biased under normal driving conditions, with the ability to send power to the front wheels when needed. This setup allows for a sporty and dynamic driving experience.

Volkswagen 4MOTION:

Volkswagen's 4MOTION system is used in various models across their lineup. It's primarily a front-wheel-drive-based system that can send power to the rear wheels when slip is detected. In most conditions, it operates in front-wheel-drive mode for improved fuel efficiency. The power distribution can be adjusted based on wheel slip and driving conditions. This system is versatile and enhances stability in different driving scenarios.

Mercedes-Benz 4MATIC:

Mercedes-Benz's 4MATIC system is a fully variable AWD system that can send power to any wheel individually. It utilizes a center differential and can adjust the torque split between the front and rear axles based on wheel slip, cornering, and other factors. This level of flexibility allows for precise control and superior handling, especially in challenging road conditions.

Audi Quattro:

Audi's Quattro system is renowned for its performance-oriented AWD capabilities. It features a mechanical center differential that typically distributes power in a 40:60 front-to-rear split, providing a rear-wheel bias. However, it can dynamically adjust the power distribution to the wheels with the most grip, ensuring optimal traction and handling. Audi's Quattro system has a rich motorsport heritage and is known for its excellent handling characteristics.

Key Differences:

Power Distribution: The way these systems distribute power varies. BMW's xDrive tends to have a rear-wheel bias under normal conditions and Volkswagen's 4MOTION tends to have a front-wheel bias under normal conditions, while Mercedes-Benz's 4MATIC and Audi's Quattro can provide more rear-wheel bias or distribute power to individual wheels as needed.

Flexibility: Audi's Quattro and Mercedes-Benz's 4MATIC offer greater flexibility in power distribution, allowing for precise control in various driving conditions.

Performance Focus: Audi's Quattro is often associated with high-performance models, while BMW's xDrive leans towards a sporty driving experience.

Manufacturer Specific: Each of these systems is proprietary to its respective manufacturer, and the implementation may vary between different models within the same brand.

In conclusion, the choice between xDrive, 4MOTION, 4MATIC, and Quattro systems depends on your driving preferences and needs. All of them aim to enhance traction and stability, but the technical nuances make each system unique and cater to different driving experiences. Be sure to test drive vehicles equipped with these systems to find the one that suits your driving style best.

IMI Certified Tuning Specialist

MPG Tuning Ltd
Unit 44 Rumerhill Business Estate
Cannock, Staffordshire, WS11 0ET


 Tel: 01543 466662


MPG Tuning Offer Professional ECU Remap and Tuning services including but not limited to ECU Remapping, EGR Delete, DPF Solutions, VAG Emissions Recall Scandal Rollback, Tricore Processor Programming, Boot Mode, and Traditional Chip Tuning.

MPG Tuning is based in Cannock Staffordshire but serves customers from further afield typically from the following areas, Lichfield, Burntwood, Rugeley, Stafford, Brownhills, Walsall, Wolverhampton, Birmingham, Tamworth plus many more areas throughout the West and East Midlands. 

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Our lead technician has over 16 years’ experience in the tuning industry and long term connections with some of the Worlds most experienced data programming and tuning specialists. We are extremely passionate about our customer satisfaction and strive for a perfect result every time.

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