As domestic automakers usher sedans onto the precipice of a mass grave, it appears German manufacturers have yet to give up on them — at least the fancier ones. BMW recently announced the M5 Competition, which is an amped-up version of the standard performance model.
Somehow, we get the feeling the Competition exists only so BMW can set a better lap time at the Nürburgring. Excluding its visual enhancements, we doubt many drivers would be able to notice any changes from the already fast M5.
Adding 17 additional horses to a lightweight hatchback is transformative, but the same cannot be said for a 600 hp sedan weighing in at over two tons. But that’s what the Competition offers — along with revamped suspension tuning, more aggressive looks, and an angrier sound.
None of that is bad, however. Shaving off a tenth of a second to 60 mph (and three-tenths to 124 mph) still represents an overall improvement, whether it’s discernible when entering the highway or not. We’re just not positive it’s worth the money if you’re not in the habit of taking your M5 to track days.
Torque remains unchanged from the standard model. The M5 Competition’s turbocharged 4.4-liter V8 still makes 553 lb-ft of torque. But it is on a slightly wider band, with the pull coming in between 1,800 and 5,860 rpm.
Riding seven millimeters closer to the ground vs the normal M5, BMW has also implemented tweaks to the Competition’s springs and dampers. It won’t be bone shattering on a bumpy road, but expect a firmer ride overall. Increased negative camber on the front axle should give the tires better purchase in the turns, as well.
Top speed is a sufficient-for-most 155 mph. Those unsatisfied can option in the M Driver’s Package, making the model capable of 189 mph. In addition to removing the speed governor, BMW is offering a driver’s training course for customers who purchase the package.
Without it, the 2019 BMW M5 Competition costs $110,995, including a $995 destination fee. That’s $7,400 more than the standard M5 sedan. However, you do get Y-spoke alloy wheels and gloss-black accents all over the exterior, along with an active M Sport exhaust with similarly dark finishers. Interior changes are more subtle and include unique seat belts, floor mats, and instrument cluster graphics.
The important thing is that the car looks and sounds more menacing. For many, that will be enough to rationalize the price. Production of the 2019 BMW M5 Competition is slated to begin in July.