BMW M5 Competition: A more serious, more demanding performance car

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The upgardes include stiffer engine mounts, revised front suspension with greater negative wheel camber, sturdier anti-roll bars

Launched in 2019 in India, the BMW M5 Competition is a more potent iteration of the performance sedan than the regular M5. So, just how much of a difference do the upgrades make?

To start with, power is up from 600hp to 625hp, but the torque at 750Nm remains unchanged, so while it has more power than the Audi RS7 and Mercedes-AMG E 63 S, it still has less torque. Still, the claimed 0-100kph time has dropped by 0.1sec to 3.3sec.

The M5 Competition gets stiffer engine mounts, revised front suspension with greater negative wheel camber, new rigid ball joints replace the rubber mounts of the rear suspension, and sturdier anti-roll bars. The adaptive dampers have been recalibrated and ride height is lower by 7mm as well, giving the car a more ‘slammed’ down look.

There are also optional bits from the ‘regular’ M5 that are now standard. These include the blacked-out kidney grille frame, rear valance and side gills, 20-inch wheels and the sports exhaust.

Specifications

  • Engine 4395cc, V8, twin-turbo petrol
  • Gearbox 8-speed automatic
  • Power 625hp at 6000rpm
  • Torque 750Nm at 1850-5860rpm
  • Kerb weight 1950kg
  • L / W / H 4966/1903 / 1473mm
  • Wheelbase 2982mm
  • Boot capacity 530 liters
  • Fuel tank 68 liters

Changes to the suspension are felt almost immediately. The competition, with its short wheel travel, fidgets about on its 35-profile Pirellis and while Comfort mode is reasonably absorbent, Sport or Sport + are best reserved for pristine roads.

Find a nice road with challenging corners, and the M5 Competition comes alive. Thanks to that reworked front end and sharper, more responsive steering, this 1.9-tonne Bimmer is almost hilariously chuckable.

Yes, it has all-wheel drive too, but setting the drivetrain to ‘4WD Sport’ transforms it from a safe, traction-focused setup to one that feels deliciously rear-biased.

Though the 750Nm torque figure has not changed, it is spread over an additional 200rpm now. It may not have the volume and visceral bombast of AMG’s V8, but with its rev-happy nature, the 4.4-liter twin-turbo V8 feels like the perfect mix of modern forced induction and the naturally aspirated days of yore. Also deserving of a shout-out is ZF’s torque-converter auto, which impressively alternates between the roles of comfy slush-box and razor-sharp performance shifter just by dialling through its three modes.

In its move to the Competition version, the M5’s chassis and suspension upgrades mean it has sacrificed a degree of that everyday usability. It is far more engaging than before, but also a more demanding performance car.

The good news is, at ₹ 1.55 crore, it is not much more expensive than the standard M5 it replaced. With other rivals sitting closer to the ₹ 2 crore mark, the original performance sedan has a corner of the market all to itself.

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