Nearly all of BMW’s current-generation M models are sold in two guises: standard and Performance, all over the world. Their performance derivatives bring with them not only power, but optional upgrades and tuned suspension. In India though, BMW sells a single version of every M model and it’s a pretty unique blend. In 2018, BMW launched the M5 in its standard spec and, in 2020, was replaced by the Competition version. Let’s have a look at what makes the newer version of the M5 more desirable.
The BMW M5 Competition now produces 616bhp and 750Nm of torque, the latter of which remains the same. It happens to develop more power than its main competition, but the torque remains the lowest. The car can sprint from 0-100kph in just 3.3 seconds. Certain add-ons that were optional on the standard BMW M5 are now seen on the Competition version, including a smoked-out kidney grille, side gills, 20-inch wheels, a rear valance and a sports exhaust. Carbon ceramic brakes are optional though. Major changes have been carried over that aren’t visible. BMW Cars have equipped the M5 Competition with tweaked front suspension, stronger anti-roll bars and rigid ball joints for the suspension. Even the adaptive dampers have been readjusted, with a decrease in ride height. It looks more hunkered down, but that also means you’ll have to watch out for speed breakers. The difference in the suspension is very evident. Compared to its air-spring rivals, the standard M5 didn’t feel too great in terms of ride quality. And the setup on the Competition model is even stiffer. The wheel travel gives the large wheels no room, but in Comfort mode, it soaks in the bumps decently. Sport and Sport+ are for smooth ribbons of tarmac. At high speeds, expansion joints can be felt inside.
You’ve got to find yourself a lovely road with some curves, and the BMW M5 will show you its true colours, thanks to its dynamic prowess that can put a lot of sports cars to shame. You can literally fling this around a corner because of its improved steering response and reworked front-end. The car is surprisingly agile despite the absence of rear-wheel steering. And there’s no body roll at all. The M5 Competition gets all-wheel-drive, put it to ‘4WD Sport’, set DSC to M Dynamic Mode – and the car transforms from a sedate traction-oriented setup to a rear-biased setup. In 4WD Sport, you’re close to oversteer, while the 2WD mode is more for those very seasoned at going sideways.
The improved engine responses aren’t felt to a great extent, but the M5 Competition revs for a longer period when you have your foot planted. There is a wider spread of torque as well. The twin-turbo V8 is a wonderful blend of forced induction with a smidgen of naturally aspiration. Also worth mentioning, is ZF’s 8HP torque-converter automatic ‘box, which plays two roles: being comfortably relaxed and sharp enough to match the engine’s performance with the help of dialling through the three modes on offer.
There are lots of heavy, performance SUVs on the market today, plus you get the pricier four-door coupes from Merc-AMG and Porsche. It’s a proper, fast sleeper sedan, and in its Competition avatar, it continues to be luxurious, well equipped, along with an enhanced chassis and suspension, but this also mean everyday usability has taken a bit of a hit. It has improved vastly as a driver’s car as it is far more engaging to drive than before, also making it an equally demanding performance machine, that too – when driven at its limit. The increase in price over the standard M5 from BMW Cars is marginal, making it great value, since its rivals are all priced above. Also, grab the latest info on the new cars, only at autoX.