BMW M5 Competition: Understated Presence, Upgraded Performance

Tweaks in every department set the M5 Competition apart from the base M5.

BMW

The BMW M5 Competition follows the trail blazed by the M2 Competition with its own special Competition variant, as detailed by BMW in a press release Wednesday. The treatments that differentiate the two tiers of M5 are applied inside, outside, and under hood.

Extensive exterior alterations are present on the M5 Competition, front to back. A gloss black kidney grille, side vents, Gurney flap, and matching mirrors stand out from the Frozen Dark Silver metallic paint, exclusive to the M5 Competition, like the body color-matching door handle inserts. An M5 Competition graphic along the side skirt is optional, but 20-inch forged alloy wheels are not. The M5 Competition badge and tailpipes appear in black too, as opposed to the M5's metallic exhaust and badging.

BMW

Less apparent are the changes made within, where BMW M seatbelts, M5 floor mats, and a dashboard M Competition graphic serve to remind the driver that they are not, in fact, driving the layman's M5...Assuming the uprated performance doesn't give it away, that is.

BMW

25 added horsepower, numbering 625 in total, keep the M5 Competition abreast of the (underrated) M5. Peak torque of 533 pound-feet spans a broad 4,000 rpm, from 1,800 to 5,800, a bridge 200 rpm wider than the base M5. Going from standstill to 60 is accomplished in 3.3 seconds, and 124 mph is steamrolled 7.5 seconds afterward, and 0.3 seconds sooner than the M5 arrives.

The black-tipped exhaust adds a particle filter to prevent emissions from visibly matching the color of the exhaust piping.

BMW

To prevent against the uprated engine wresting itself from underneath the hood, stiffer engine mounts keep the 4.4 liter twin-turbo V-8 where it belongs. They also prevent excess sway, which would add slop to the handling, making the M5 Competition's rear-wheel-drive xDrive mode more manageable. Ball joints in lieu of rubber bushings at the toe links, greater negative camber up front, and modified front sway bar mounts cooperate with the engine mounts to keep the car's front end in line at all times. A stiffer rear sway bar performs the same for the M5 Competition's rear end.

Handling is further refined with springs that reduce ride height by 7 millimeters, accounting for laser travel with 10 percent raised stiffness. The 20-inch wheels support the car on a staggered tire setup: 275/35R20 front, 285/35R20 rear.

BMW did not disclose the model year in which the M5 Competition will arrive.

The BMW M5 Competition bucks a trend thought to be established in the wake of the M2 Competition's release, relating to the company's trademark filings for the revival of its "CSL" badge. Some believed the Competition badge would take CSL's place on special-edition BMW M cars, but the M5 Competition's announcement suggests the two to be separate product lines entirely.

The Drive reached out to BMW for comment on the difference between BMW's Competition line and the CSL line suggested by its trademark filings to be in development, but BMW did not immediately respond.

1992 BMW E34 M5 -- TEST/DRIVE
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