Unpacking BMW's M Drift Analyzer.
When BMW revealed the new M3 and M4, they arrived with controversial styling and the latest 3.0-liter turbocharged straight-six, along with the expected and much-loved features of a standard manual gearbox and rear-wheel drive. There was also loads of tech announced, and not all of it is necessarily easy to understand, particularly if an M3 or M4 is your first experience with BMW M. Thus, the magicians in Munich have been releasing educational videos explaining how to make the most of their latest creations. The latest video is one we've been looking forward to, explaining to us how the M Drift Analyzer works.
First, let's talk about what the system actually does. When activated, the M Drift Analyzer has the ability to rate and "unpack" the quality of your drift, telling you how long you drifted, how much angle you achieved, what speed you drifted, and how much understeer you may have encountered. The system also has the ability to record how much distance you could have covered while drifting and gives you an overall rating out of five stars. Essentially, this lets the driver evaluate their own performance while also learning where improvements can be made, so now how do you activate the system?
First of all, you have to specify the M Drive Professional package when ordering your car. To activate the system, you must deactivate the traction and stability control systems by holding the traction button down for around four seconds. The option to activate the M Drift Analyzer then shows on the infotainment screen, and once pressed, a legal disclaimer must be accepted. The screen then shows the options to activate or deactivate the system, to tailor the level of play you get from the M Traction Control system, and to switch between the measurement of a single drift or an entire session (each of which displays different parameters).
Press start and you can go have some fun, with the analyzer appearing in the head-up display too. Once you end the session, analysis is revealed instantly. When the system is deactivated, the Dynamic Stability Control system automatically reactivates for a safe journey home. What a world.