Updated: September 26, 2022
THIS is one for the purists. The BMW M5 Competition is the latest saloon from Munich – a touch more of everything for those who sigh in delight at the power and performance of the common or garden M5.
But let’s not be silly. The M5 – winner of the 2018 Scottish Car of the Year Sports Car award – is hardly an everyday saloon. So when you attach the Competition nomenclature to it you can expect something very special indeed from the German car makers.
And indeed it is. Lower than its stablemate, the M5 Competition boasts the same roaring and powerful 4.4-litre V8 petrol turbo engine that provides the wow factor for both of these cars.
In the M5 Competition, however, it has been tuned to deliver 25hp more power – that’s 625hp in all – an exhilarating experience on the winding roads of Midlothian. As the man from BMW said: “This car is crazy fast.” It is a lot stiffer than its stablemate and stronger, too, to cope with the demands that will be made of it.
This, in turn, makes it slightly heavier but the end result when you send it spinning along those country roads is a car that is so well balanced and comfortable in its skin that you never ever feel it will leave the road.
It has a new sports exhaust that gives it a glorious soundtrack and, of course, the usual BMW driving modes, including sport and sport+, and you can turn everything off if you want.
There is a marvellous feel of the car through the steering wheel and it is immediately agile and responsive as you put it through its paces, daring ever more to ask more of it – and giving the right reply.
For those who like to know these things, the M5 Competition I am driving has an M Carbon engine cover and M Carbon ceramic brakes (£7495), which mean you stop about as fast as you accelerate from 0-62mph – and that’s 3.3 seconds.
Externally, the Competition looks more muscular and hunkered down because of that lower ride height and that also provides a more sporty feel for the driver sliding into the car.
Instead of sitting on the car peering out – a common feature of our SUV friends – the pilot is in the car and part of it. This is a prime feature of the M5 Competition experience.
There are gloss black badges to tell everyone that this is the Competition, and the car itself sits on special 20in alloys. Inside, there is two-tone Silverstone Full Merino leather on the heated seats, a leather steering wheel and dark chrome and aluminium carbon trim.
This car comes with all the tech you expect from BMW – sat nav, online features, real-time traffic information and concierge services among others, as well as a panoply of safety systems.
But it is for the drive that car enthusiasts will choose to buy this machine. It is powerful and rewarding and the beauty of it is that, because it is a saloon, you can use it daily for the shopping or the school run and then break out its full potential at the weekend.
- Model: BMW M5 Competition
- Engine: 4.4-litre petrol
- Power: 625hp
- Top speed: 155mph
- 0-62mph: 3.3seconds
- Average mpg: 26.2
- CO2 emissions: 246g/km
- Warranty: Three years/unlimited mileage
- Price: £96,205