HOT on the heels of the launch of the sold out 2018 BMW M5, the fastest M car ever, German car maker BMW has one-upped themselves, with the announcement of the new BMW M5 Competition, set to arrive in Australia in the second half of this year.
The most powerful and focused M5 ever built, the new BMW M5 Competition takes the award-winning new BMW M5 concept and refines it further, with an even more structured approach to maximising dynamics and performance.
It isn’t just a touched up M5 either. As per the M2 Competition, the new M5 Competition will be a standalone model globally, rather than a ‘Competition Package’ or an optional enhancement package on the previous-generation M5.
Specific badging will announce the M5 Competition as a model in its own right and follows the Australian-developed example set by the M3 and M4 Competition models.
Thanks to BMW M engineers, the already-impressive 4.4-litre twin-turbocharged V8 from the M5 now has an emphasis on racetrack-ready performance, with peak power jumping to an astounding 460kW.
That’s an increase of 19kW over the M5, while torque matches the M5 with 750Nm, but with an additional 200rpm peak torque range. Zero to 100km/h is now achieved in only 3.3 seconds, with 200km/h achieved in an astounding 10.8 seconds.
A model-specific M Sport exhaust system is fitted as standard, and flows out of a cross-bank exhaust manifold which enables exceptional turbocharger response to throttle inputs.
The M5 Competition is also fitted with a particulate filter to reduce exhaust gas pollutants. This system is flap-controlled, with the acoustic profile changing depending on whether Comfort, Sport or Sport Plus programmes are selected by the driver.
As in the regular M5, a specific exhaust button is mounted on the centre console to enable reduced noise where required. Transferring the engine’s key outputs via the M xDrive four-wheel drive system is the M Steptronic eight-speed automatic transmission.
Three different transmission modes are enabled, with efficient, sporty or highly dynamic shift speeds and feel. Like the M5, the M5 Competition can be shifted manually via tactile, lightweight gearshift paddles located behind the steering wheel.
A specifically-designed transmission oil cooler ensures correct operating temperature, even under extreme racetrack use.
The combination of rear-biased, adjustable M xDrive and the rear Active M Differential ensures the BMW M5 Competition delivers the perfect blend of traction and engagement, with the ability to switch the M5 to ‘2WD’ mode via the car’s iDrive system.
Furthering the precise control and strong feedback demanded by the M5 Competition’s engine and drive systems are a raft of Competition-specific chassis tweaks, including new 900Nm/mm engine mounts.
The familiar M-specific kinematic and elastokinematic properties of the double wishbone front and five-link rear suspensions have also been further enhanced. The M5 Competition sits 7mm lower than the M5, while spring and damper tuning has been undertaken.
The suspension design has allowed for increased negative camber on the front axle, while the rear suspension toe links are now attached via racing-style ball joints rather than rubber mounts.
As before, three levels of damping force are selectable at the touch of a button: Comfort, Sport (tuned at the Nurburgring Nordschleife) and Sport Plus, ideal for modern, smooth race circuits.
Low-weight M compound brakes are featured as standard on the BMW M5 Competition. Up front, fixed six-piston calipers clamp inner-vented discs, while at the rear a lightweight, floating single-piston caliper is deployed.
M Carbon Ceramic discs are also available as an option, for the ultimate braking system. Forged 20-inch wheels are fitted as standard to the BMW M5 Competition. With a bi-colour, Y-spoke design these strong, light forged alloys are exclusive to the model.
Door handles in body colour are specific to the model, while a high-gloss black trim selection provides further visual differentiation. Exterior mirror caps, as well as the signature M gills on the front flanks, are finished this way too.
High-gloss black is also prominent on the evocative kidney grilles, as well as on the rear bumper cover, rear spoiler, and M5 boot lid logo, which features ‘Competition’ lettering for the first time. Black chrome exhaust outlets complete the exterior theme.
The spacious, supportive interior is further highlighted by exclusive M5 Competition highlights. The black seat belts with striped BMW M GmbH stitching and piped floor mats with M5 logo are among the subtle touches.
Likewise, the ‘M Competition’ graphic greets the driver when the start button is depressed. It will be priced at $229,000 plus on-roads, and full specifications will be released closer to the M5 Competition’s Australian launch.