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ByDave Stopher

Jun 17, 2020
  • High-performance saloon fuses sports car driving dynamics with everyday usability.
  • Powered by a 625hp 4.4-litre V8 engine with M TwinPower Turbo technology.
  • Chassis tuned for on-track performance with the addition of new dampers.
  • Introduction of M Mode and larger 12.3-inch Central Information Display powered by BMW Operating System 7.0.
  • Priced from £98,095 RRP.

The arrival of the new BMW M5 Competition sees the high-performance saloon from BMW M GmbH returning to the stage in its sharpest and most performance-focused form to date.

Fusing a high-revving, 625hp 4.4-litre V8 turbocharged engine with a finely-tuned chassis that incorporates new dampers, the BMW M5 Competition delivers the everyday usability and comfort of an executive saloon twinned with driving pleasure and exceptional on-track ability.

With its unrivalled package including newly introduced features such as M Mode and a central information display enlarged to 12.3 inches, the BMW M5 Competition is a more compelling proposition than ever.

The BMW M5 Competition is priced from £98,095 RRP.

High-revving engine with BMW M TwinPower Turbo technology
At the heart of the BMW M5 Competition is a 4.4-litre V8 engine with M TwinPower Turbo technology. The high-revving, eight-cylinder unit develops 625hp at 6,000rpm. Peak torque of 750Nm is on tap between 1,800 and 5,860rpm. The characteristics of the V8 can be altered at the touch of a button from the EFFICIENT mode to SPORT and SPORT+, the latter two further enhancing the engine’s response to movements of the accelerator. The BMW M5 Competition sprints from 0-62mph in 3.3 seconds, with 0-124mph achieved in 10.8 seconds.

Top speed is 155mph – or 189mph with the optional M Driver’s Package specified.

Model Maximum Power (hp) Peak Torque (Nm) Acceleration (0-62mph)


Top Speed (mph) Fuel economy (mpg) CO2 emissions (g/km) RRP Price
M5 Competition 625 750 3.3 155 TBC TBC £98,095

Eight-speed M Steptronic transmission with Drivelogic
The eight-speed M Steptronic transmission enables short shift times and fast, precise responses to every nudge of the accelerator. The Drivelogic switch on the gear selector allows three modes for efficient, sporty or dynamically intense track driving with rapid gearshifts. The driver can use both the selector lever and the shift paddles on the steering wheel to take control of gear changes manually. In manual mode, they can also execute multiple downshifts to the lowest available gear, for instance when braking into tight corners. Additionally, there are no automatic upshifts when the engine is revved to the limit.

M xDrive with rear-wheel bias ensures exceptional agility
The centrally controlled interaction between the M xDrive all-wheel-drive system and the Active M Differential helps to effectively channel the engine’s output to the car’s wheels and generates enough extra traction to achieve acceleration times worthy of a super-sports car.

The engine’s torque is variably distributed between the front and rear wheels via the transfer case’s electronically controlled multi-plate clutch, before the Active M Differential splits it again between the two rear wheels, as appropriate. The rear-wheel-biased setup of M xDrive provides the BMW M5 Competition with standout agility. In addition, the driver can vary the distribution of power between front and rear wheels themselves, and also adjust the responses of the Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) system.

M Dynamic Mode (MDM) holds the key to controlled drifts and entertaining handling, and offers another three modes (with DSC deactivated) which have been optimised for track driving: as well as 4WD and 4WD Sport, drivers also have the choice of 2WD mode (also automatically disabling DSC) for the traditional BMW M5 rear-wheel drive experience.

New suspension dampers
The BMW M5 Competition has a specially tuned chassis, which includes double-wishbone front suspension and five-link rear suspension. It benefits from experience gained in the development of the new BMW M8 Competition Gran Coupé.

The electronically-controlled Variable Damper Control (VDC) system offers three driving modes – COMFORT, SPORT and SPORT+. COMFORT mode focuses on everyday usability and familiar M comfort, combined with standout dynamics. SPORT mode, meanwhile, reduces wheel and body movements to create more direct contact with the road, but still has sufficient comfort dialled in. SPORT+ mode maximises dynamic performance on smooth asphalt such as race tracks, with wheel and body movements minimised.

The M Servotronic steering gives drivers the choice of COMFORT mode for greater ease of use and lightness – in town driving and on short journeys, for example – and SPORT mode, where greater steering force is required and feedback through the wheel increases noticeably.

The amount of camber at the front axle enhances the car’s ability to absorb lateral forces through high-speed corners, while fitting the toe links with ball joints instead of rubber mounts has resulted in highly precise wheel guidance at the rear axle. The high spring rate of the rear anti-roll bar allows the body roll that occurs through high-speed corners to be distributed with a pronounced rear bias.

The BMW M5 Competition is fitted with forged, bi-colour, 20-inch M light-alloy wheels in Y-spoke design (front: 9.5J x 20, rear: 10.5J x 20) and mixed-size tyres (front: 275/35R 20, rear: 285/35R 20).

M Performance Parts include coilover suspension and carbon-fibre components
The M Performance chassis from the extensive M Performance Parts range brings the BMW M5 Competition an even sportier and more individual setup. The drop in ride height of between 5 and 20 millimetres enabled by the coilover suspension results in a lower centre of gravity, which reduces body roll and enables higher cornering speeds. Damper adjustment is independent for compression and rebound. Among the other items available from the M Performance Parts range are exclusive aerodynamic components produced from high-quality carbon fibre.

Bespoke engine mounts
Another notable feature of the BMW M5 Competition is its bespoke engine mounts, which have a spring rate of 900N/mm. The engine’s firm connection to the vehicle’s structure is clearly noticeable, resulting in extremely fast engine response and immediate transmission of its power to the drivetrain. The stiffness of the mounts also helps the car turn into corners with greater precision.

Oil supply system designed for track driving
The V8 engine utilises optimised turbochargers and maximum injection pressure of 350 bar. This allows shorter injection times and improved atomisation of fuel, for faster engine response as well as more efficient mixture preparation. Improvements have also been made to lubrication and cooling, including an oil pan with a small front sump and an indirect charge air cooling system. The oil supply system uses a fully variable, map-controlled pump and has been designed for the demands of track use.

Flap-controlled exhaust system delivers a high-impact soundtrack
The BMW M5 Competition is fitted with the M Sport dual-branch and flap-controlled M Sport exhaust system, which develops a highly distinctive and sporty note. Its sound can be varied via the different engine modes, with the soundtrack of SPORT+ mode being particularly powerful, although a much more understated engine note can also be implemented at a touch of the M Sound Control button in the centre console.

M Compound brakes fitted as standard
The BMW M5 Competition is equipped with M Compound brakes, which are significantly lighter than conventional cast iron items. At the front, there are perforated, inner-vented brake discs with six-piston fixed callipers featuring the M logo. The rear brakes feature single-piston callipers with an integrated parking brake. For the very first time, the standard callipers are finished in a high-gloss red finish – customers can opt to switch to a blue or black finish at no additional cost. Whereas the optional M Carbon ceramic brakes are recognisable from the gold-coloured callipers with M logo (six-piston fixed callipers at the front, single-piston floating callipers at the rear) and are 23kgs lighter than the standard items. These uprated brakes provide even better braking performance, blending high fade resistance and thermal stability with hardwearing durability.

Purposeful exterior design embellished with the BMW M insignia
A host of BMW M-specific design features distinguish the high performance version from other BMW 5 Series models. The bonnet hewn from aluminium, the front side panels with the signature M gills and the roof made from carbon fibre-reinforced plastic (CFRP) create a striking look while also producing substantial weight savings.

The newly designed BMW kidney grille featured on the BMW 5 Series has a more upright appearance and drops down further into the front apron. On the BMW M5 Competition, it features a black surround, M-specific double fins and a black M5 Competition badge.

The front apron has been revised with bolder contouring and larger air intakes at the sides, with a large central, hexagonal-shaped intake incorporating the oil cooler together with the radar sensor for the Active Cruise Control (ACC) system. The front end is completed with new Adaptive LED headlights coupled with high-beam assist as standard, which feature distinctive L-shaped light tubes searing in narrow streaks towards the kidney grille. The new BMW Individual lights Shadowline, which is also standard, adds a dark-tinted accent to the Adaptive LED Headlights or optional BMW Laserlights.

M gills on the sides and the streamlined M exterior mirrors, both also finished in High-gloss black, add to the car’s exclusive design features. At the rear, there’s a new apron with a large diffuser and black inserts, while restyled LED lights provide a fresh take on the familiar BMW L shape with their precise light graphic and three-dimensional feel. The boot also has a High-gloss Black finish spoiler and black M5 Competition badging. Completing the exterior are M-specific twin tailpipes, now with thinner, more precise sidewalls, in striking Black Chrome.

New colours and a new wheel design
BMW M5 Competition customers can choose from several new paint finishes. The new high-performance saloon is now also available in the standard Brands Hatch Grey, Bluestone and Motegi Red metallic finishes. The BMW Individual selection of paint finishes adds new Tanzanite Blue metallic and Aventurine Red metallic shades. Finally, the Champagne Quartz metallic finish has been renamed Alvit Grey metallic. Meanwhile, light-alloy wheel options now also include the 20-inch M double-spoke items in polished Orbit Grey.

M Multifunction seats in Merino leather upholstery
Both the driver and front passenger in the BMW M5 Competition enjoy standard M Multifunction seats with illuminated M5 logos in the head restraints and are finished in the highest quality Merino leather. The heated seats offer electric adjustment of various settings, including the seat cushion depth, plus pneumatic backrest width adjustment to provide optimum lateral support under hard driving and a memory function for the driver’s seat.

Larger display and new operating concept
The introduction of a new operating concept and a larger central display with a diagonal of 12.3 inches makes it even easier to keep a clear eye on the myriad functions associated with the driving dynamic systems and BMW M xDrive all-wheel drive. Two new buttons on the centre console – like those found in the BMW M8 – provide more direct access to system settings and the various readouts in the instrument cluster and Head‑Up Display.

At the press of the M Mode button, the driver can switch swiftly between the ROAD and SPORT settings. Keeping the M Mode button pressed, then confirming the prompt in the central display, engages TRACK mode.

From ROAD to SPORT at the touch of a button
In the default ROAD setting, all the standard and optional driver assistance systems are fully activated. With the SPORT setting engaged, the active driver assistance systems only transmit alerts on speed limits and overtaking restrictions, for example. This mode allows all interventions in the braking and steering systems to be disabled, aside from those made by the collision warning with braking function and the Evasion Assistant. SPORT mode also switches both the instrument cluster and the Head-Up Display to M View. Here, only relevant information for sporty driving is shown in the 12.3‑inch instrument display. Drivers can also choose to view additional information on coolant temperature, charge pressure, tyre condition and longitudinal/lateral acceleration in the right- and left-hand areas of the instrument cluster.

The BMW M5 Competition’s TRACK mode is designed exclusively for use on race circuits and deactivates all the comfort and safety functions of the driver assistance systems. The audio system is also muted and the central display switched off, while the instrument cluster switches to M View and the Head‑Up Display dispenses with readouts from the driver assistance systems. Automatic activation of the hazard warning lights in response to emergency braking is suppressed and the collision warning system is also deactivated.

Two viewing modes in the Head-Up Display
When M View is active in Sport mode, a prominently positioned rev counter with coloured warning zones appears in the Head-Up Display, while shift lights indicate the ideal time to change gear. Navigation instructions, distance warnings, the current gear, the vehicle speed, and any speed limits or overtaking restrictions detected by the Speed Limit Info system are also shown here. In the default ROAD mode, the Head‑Up Display then reverts to the normal BMW 5 Series layout with M-specific typography, and the instrument display shows a new-look standard view.

New setup button takes drivers straight to the configuration menu
Pressing the newly included Setup button positioned above the M Mode button takes the driver straight to the central display’s menu for programming an individual configuration for the powertrain and chassis options – and thereby tailoring the car’s setup to the driving situation at hand and their personal preferences.

Simplified operation using the touchscreen display or iDrive Controller makes it easy for the driver to choose different settings for the engine, suspension, steering and M xDrive system. The two red-painted M1 and M2 buttons next to the gearshift paddles on the M multifunction steering wheel make it possible to change quickly between a choice of two individual setups, which the driver can pre-configure.

Wide choice of driver assistance systems
All of the driver assistance systems from the BMW 5 Series are also available for the BMW M5 Competition. The Driving Assistant system is included as standard, as is Parking Assistant Plus, which enables the driver to create a 360° image of the vehicle and its surroundings from different perspectives in the Control Display. As part of optional Driving Assistant Professional system, updates to Steering and Lane Control Assistants are included, which in turn introduces Active Navigation. This system uses navigation data to spot in advance when a lane change will be required, and this can then be performed simply in advance notice, using the Lane Change Assistant.

The newly standard Parking Assistant Plus’s range of functions has been extended with the addition of the reversing assistant, which takes control of the steering while reversing for distances of up to 50 metres.

The new Drive Recorder feature is also standard on the BMW M5 Competition for the first time, which when coupled with Parking Assistant Plus, uses its in-built cameras to record video footage from different points around the vehicle, before storing the recordings so they can be either watched later on the control display or exported via the USB port.

New digital services: BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant, Smartphone Integration and Remote Software Upgrade
The standard BMW Live Cockpit Professional brings in the latest BMW Operating System 7.0 and a host of digital services as standard.

The new BMW M5 Competition includes the BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant with the latest extended functionality. This technology learns routines, habits and preferences to help the driver get the best out of the in-car functionality.

Smartphone Integration is offered as standard, without any runtime limitations, and is now compatible with both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Offered for the first time on the new BMW M5 Competition is the Remote Software Upgrade functionality that keeps the vehicle up to date with the latest software. All updates can be imported over the air, either on a smartphone via BMW Connected or directly into the car using its built-in SIM card. Installation is much like a smartphone update. The content of the upgrades can vary, from new software services to improved vehicle functions and the possibility to purchase additional technology via the BMW ConnectedDrive online store.

Enhanced standard equipment
The standard specification of the BMW M5 Competition has been enhanced from its predecessor and now includes sun protection glass, the new BMW Individual Lights Shadow Line, split rear folding seats and galvanic controls as standard.

Harman/Kardon, Head-Up Display and adaptive LED headlights are also offered as standard as well as M seat belts, full Merino leather, Anthracite Alcantara headliner and seat heating for both front seats.

Extensive options list includes the Ultimate Package
Customers of the BMW M5 Competition can tailor the car to their own individual tastes with a host of option packages that add even more refinement, convenience, style, safety and performance.

Technology Plus, offering Driving Assistant Professional and Comfort Plus, which includes front and rear seat heating, steering wheel heating, soft close doors and massage functionality are both available optionally. M Drivers pack which offers customers M Carbon ceramic brakes and M Drivers Package is also available optionally.

At the top of the list is the aptly named Ultimate Pack, which consists of a multitude of upgrades that combine to enhance the BMW M5 Competition in every area. The Ultimate Package adds 14 options that span the exclusive M Carbon engine cover to the M Driver’s Package and the Bowers & Wilkins Surround Sound System to soft closed doors.