• The BMW M3 and M4’s Drift Analyzer Is The Coolest Useless Feature We’ve Ever Seen

How many drivers are going to actually use it?

LISTEN 02:05

The M3 and M4 twins bear a lot of significance for BMW so the new-generations sports cars got the utmost attention from Munich’s engineers. You can also say they got a little too much of that from BMW’s designers, but enough with the banter.

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In trying to make the high-performance sedan and coupe as attractive as possible, BMW fitted them with a little gizmo called the M Drift Analyzer.

The M Drift Analyzer is part of a large onboard pack called M Drive Professional. The whole rationale behind it is to allow drivers to hone their drifting skills (always on a track that allows it, not on public roads!) with the help of an AI instructor that records the duration, distance, line, and angle of a drift before scoring it.

Mind you, the M Drift Analyzer does only what the name says – it analyzes, which means you will be drifting around with no other aids and inputs from the car.

Speaking to Autoweek, BMW M spokesman Martin Schleypen offered more insight on the feature.

The BMW M3 and M4's Drift Analyzer Is The Coolest Useless Feature We've Ever Seen Interior
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“The drift analyzer is more or less designed to help you improve on your own skills. Because actually, what helps you to control the car is the M Traction Control slider, which is a different thing that actually determines the behavior of the car. The drift analyzer itself […] is not a drift mode in the sense that you push a button and the car starts to drift by itself without you being in charge of controlling it.”

In case you’re curios why BMW concocted this feature, the answer is simple: data; lots of data. The M3 and M4 feature a heavily improved traction control system, “six to 10 times faster than the previous one” as per Schleypen, which generated a lot of driving-related info that BMW though of feeding to the driver in a constructive way. Hence the M Drift Analyzer to go hand in hand with the 3.0-liter straight-six good for up to 503 horsepower and 479 pound-feet of torque.

2021 BMW M3 specifications
2021 BMW M3 2021 BMW M3 Competition
Engine twin-turbo, 3.0-liter inline-six twin-turbo, 3.0-liter inline-six
Horsepower 473 @ 6,250 503 @ 6,250
Torque 406 @ 2,650 – 6,130 479 @ 2,750 – 5,500
0-60 mph 4.1 seconds 3.8
Top Speed 155 mph 155 mph
Tudor Rus
Tudor Rus
Assistant Content Manager - Automotive Expert - tudor@topspeed.com
Tudor’s first encounter with cars took place when he was only a child. Back then, his father brought home a Trabant 601 Kombi and a few years later, a Wartburg 353. At that time, he was too young to know how they worked and way too young to drive them, but he could see one thing – each of them had a different ethos and their own unique personality. As time went on, he started seeing that in other cars as well, and his love for the automobile was born.  Read full bio
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