The grille games at BMW continues with the arrival of the BMW M5 and M5 Competition and, following the styling changes made to the more sedate members of the 5 Series, the pair now sport a kidney grille dropped lower into the front apron.
However, what counts for buyers of this class is what goes on the bonnet and the V8 unit under the bonnet of the BMW M5 and BMW M5 Competition goes about its business in racing-car-derived, high-revving style with the BMW M5 generating its maximum output of 441 kW at 6 000 r/min, while the BMW M5 Competition’s 460 kW also comes on line at 6 000 r/min.
The duo’s peak torque of 750 Nm arrives as low down as 1 800 r/min and is sustained all the way to 5 600 r/min in the BMW M5 and an even higher 5 860 r/min in the BMW M5 Competition.
The engine characteristics can be changed at the touch of a button from the basic EFFICIENT mode to SPORT and SPORT+, resulting in even more willing response to movements of the accelerator. The BMW M5 sprints from 0 – 100 km/h in 3,4 second and it only requires 11,1 seconds to power to 200 km/h from rest. The BMW M5 Competition completes both tasks a fraction more quickly: 100 km/h is up in 3,3 seconds, 200 km/h in 10,8 seconds.
The top speed of the BMW M5 and BMW M5 Competition is 250 km/h – or 305 km/h with the optional M Driver’s Package specified.
The eight-speed M Steptronic transmission fitted as standard enables extraordinarily short shift times and fast, precise responses to every nudge of the accelerator. The Drivelogic rocker switch on the gear selector allows three modes to be chosen for efficient, sporty or dynamically intense track driving – the latter involving extremely rapid gearshifts. The driver can use both the selector lever and the shift paddles on the steering wheel to intervene manually.
On the outside, M-specific double bars and an M badge are present and the front apron has bolder contouring and larger air intakes at the sides, while the central air intake is hexagonal in shape and incorporates the oil cooler and the radar sensor for the Active Cruise Control (ACC) system.
The new L-shaped light tubes searing in narrow streaks towards the kidney grille add a flourish to the newly designed LED headlights.
The aluminium bonnet, the front side panels with the signature M gills, the streamlined M exterior mirrors and the roof made from carbon fibre-reinforced plastic (CFRP) join the BMW kidney grille’s double bars as hallmark design features of the performance models in the BMW 5 Series range.
The BMW kidney grille surround, the mesh on the M gills, the exterior mirror caps and the additional rear spoiler on the boot lid all have a High-gloss Black finish and the rear apron includes Black inserts.
Inside there is a larger central display with a diagonal of 12,3 inches to make it even easier to keep a clear eye on the myriad functions associated with the driving dynamics 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 toggle swiftly between the ROAD and SPORT settings. 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 (in the configuration set by the driver) 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 a special M View.
In the BMW M5 Competition, keeping the M Mode button pressed then confirming the prompt in the central display engages the additional TRACK mode. This mode is designed exclusively for use on race circuits and deactivates all the comfort and safety functions of the driver assistance systems. To focus the driver’s attention even more intently on the road ahead, the audio system is also muted and the central display switched off.
All of the driver assistance systems and features from the regular BMW 5 Series are also available for the two performance versions.
The Driving Assistant Professional, the Traffic jam assistant and, in selected markets, remote-control engine starting are among the items to be found on the options list. If the Comfort Access option is specified, the BMW Digital Key allows the car to be locked and unlocked from selected models of smartphone using Near Field Communication (NFC) technology.
Both M5 variants are equipped as standard with M Compound brakes, featuring perforated, inner-vented brake discs and six-piston fixed calipers bearing the M logo at the front and single-piston floating calipers with an integrated parking brake at the rear.