The month of December has been especially exciting as both the 2015 Mustang and the 2015 BMW M3 Sedan, M4 Coupe made their grand debut. There's a lot to talk about, but arguably the most buzzworthy subject of all on the next-generation sports cars is the newfangled "Burnout Control" system. As the name clearly suggests, an electronic system allows a driver to engage in exciting, wheel-spinning action at a push of a button. But how does it work?

"The Smokey Burnout function allows the driver to indulge in a degree of rear wheel spin while the car is moving at low speeds," explained BMW in its M3 and M4 global press release. However, details regarding the Smokey Burnout function were omitted from the U.S. market press release statement. A BMW spokesman explained that the function was not mentioned because it isn't actually new. Rather, the spokesman claimed BMW is more interested in covering many other features that the M3 and M4 has to offer.

Apparently, the BMW M5, M6, and the outgoing M3 cars that were equipped with a dual-clutch transmission have already applied the function as one of its 11 available modes in its M-DCT Drivelogic system for several years. However, the function was not named "Smokey Burnout" at the time.

According to Road & Track, the "Smokey Burnout" is possible due to a combination of modern computer systems working in unison. For one, stability control is capable of independently applying brake forces to any wheel. Clamping down on the front brakes will allow the 2015 Mustang, BMW M3, M4 or any other vehicle equipped with the burnout control function to remain stationary while the rear wheels broke traction and spun.

Next, the rear wheels will use a modified form of Launch control. Launch control acts to accelerate a car from standstill when the engine is at its peak torque. Instead of modulating the drive tires at its limits of traction, burnout control will simply allow the wheels to burnout for longer periods of time.

The fundamental principles seems simple enough. That said, neither Ford nor BMW discussed its Burnout Control function in depth. In addition, it is interesting to note that while BMW claims "burnout control" isn't new, it was an unnamed and unadvertised feature. Why would BMW publicize the function with the new "burnout control" designation now?