Last week, we mentioned that Jaguar plans to bring all-wheel drive versions of the XJ and XF to market in the next three years. Now, BMW has followed suit, albeit on a tighter timeline, as 2012 650i coupes and convertibles will be available with xDrive, according to BMW’s website.

The decision to offer the 6-Series with an all-wheel drive option came as a surprise to some auto journalists. “Without much fanfare, the all-wheel drive option seemed to magically appear overnight on BMW’s U.S. website,” writes Motor Trend. “BMW’s xDrive all-wheel drive will be available for a mere $3000 on top of the 6 Series Coupe’s starting price of $83,000 and the convertible’s starting price of $90,500.”

In addition to being more sure-footed, xDrive-equipped models also offer a performance edge. “BMW says the all-wheel-driver versions of the 6-series are faster than the rear-drive cars,” reports Autoweek. “How much? A tenth of a second faster to 60 mph for the convertible and two-tenths faster in the coupe.”

That works out to a zero-to-60 mph time of 4.7 seconds in 650i xDrive coupes, which is 0.1 seconds quicker than a close, but pricier rival, the $114,100 Mercedes-Benz CL550 4Matic.

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