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08-07-2008, 06:18 PM
The four wheel drive e34's, are they 50 50 split between front and rear or how is the power distributed? just curious!
Erolc1993 520i

08-08-2008, 06:52 AM
I'm quoting from the drivers handbook:
"power is transmitted permanently to the four wheels via a transfer box which can be locked electromagnetically if necessary. The differential lock in the final drive is actuated electro-magnetically.

both differential lock systems are controlled electronically and without intervention by the driver, with a stepless effect according to the road situation and condition of the road surface.

in normal circumstances the torque split between front and rear wheels is 36% to 64%. When necessary, the torque flow is modified instantaneously and adapted to the driving situation.

The iX is not an off-road vehicle. It's permanent four-wheel drive should rather be considered as a means of assuring high dynamic stability and traction in all road conditions and for overcoming critical conditions such as in winter or on loose surfaces."

To me, the second and third paragraphs suggest that the split could be anything, 0:100 for example in certain situations, but I don't know if that is the case. I've had mine for just over 7 years and I've been aware of the transmission "adjusting" in a handful of occasions, once when I hit a patch of untreated ice in Switzerland, and a couple of times on UK motorways after torrential downpours when the outside lane was partly flooded - on each occasion the car seemed to "shimmy" for a split second and then just carry on. Mine doesn't have ASC so any adjustment has to be down to the iX system.

hope that's of interest.

08-08-2008, 11:59 AM
Hello Dave, thanks for that. That is quite interesting indeed. So, BMW have been doing these 4 wheel drive modified torque flows quite early on then. I'd enjoy driving one to test the difference in feel. I think from what you say about it on ice etc that it would be a lot more enjoyable than traction control.
Erolc1993 520i

08-08-2008, 06:36 PM
Hi Erol.
I'm not an expert on these matters, but I think they did a 325iX which was imported into the states 1989-91. Then the 525iX e34 was made from 92 to 96, which is the one I have (but was not imported into the US?) I'm not sure if the earlier 325 had the same system, one report I read said it had a Ferguson system - like the Jensen Interceptor, another report said they had chain drive to the front axle - but that was on an Audi website, I don't think so!

Where I live in London there are a few e34 iX's about, but I think altogether in the UK there are no more than 2,000, or were. You could get the latest 525 as an iX in the UK when they first came out but they seem to have disappeared from the catalogue - perhaps to avoid taking customers away from the X5 and X3.

I've always wondered whether BM did them just to show they could, to thumb their noses at Audi or because they were preparation for the X5 - their whole advertising slant has always been rear wheel drive and I don't think they've ever sold in any numbers: even in places like Switzerland.

Sorry, I'm getting carried away.
I'm not sure whether you'd notice any difference when driving one, unless you were pushing really hard in bad conditions - I've never driven a standard e34 525 touring! so I can't say. Nor can I say how it compares with traction control. But they do feel very stable and very comforting to drive when conditions get bad.

08-10-2008, 10:27 AM
I think you're definately right about rear wheel drive being the selling point of BMW and it has been promised that a front wheel drive BMW badged car will never be made (ofcourse you have the mini cooper etc). I have always liked Beamers for rear wheel drive and I rekon they were perhaps precticing for the X3 and X5 but don't want four wheel drive saloons in their line to compete. I do know that they are rare around London (because I'm from Reading) and that the X3 and X5 are quite popular. We shall see what happens. It's another year before I finish uni and can start thinking of an upgrade!

Erolc1993 520i

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