I’ve just been reading Greg Kable’s first impressions on driving the new BMW X6. It’s a bit of a revelation in the dynamic department, it seems: agile, quick, fine-steering. And it owes a great deal of that handling prowess to the breakthrough active four-wheel drive system underneath it, which sends extra torque to the outside rear wheel when you’re cornering, giving you an additional turning moment to the one provided by the steering wheels.
Well, I’ve got news for you BMW; that’s not a breakthrough. Anyone who’s been driving around in the current Honda Legend (and I appreciate that there aren’t many of you) will have been experiencing such a system for a while now. Honda calls it Super Handling All-Wheel Drive. You’ll find it on half of Honda’s American Acura models as well as the UK Legend, and it’s rumoured to be favoured for application on the forthcoming Acura NSX replacement.
The pity is that Honda didn’t do as thorough a PR job with its SH-AWD system as BMW surely will with Dynamic Performance Control. The motoring media is likely to hail the latter a technological marvel over the coming months, forgetting all about the former. But I’ll remember.
And while SH-AWD mightn’t be as ‘active’ or as ‘clever’ as PDC, and the sheen on it no longer as lustrous as it was, I’ll be sure to remind BMW that it was on the UK market fully two years before their system, should they start crowing about technological breakthroughs.