RE: BMW M5 Competition: UK Drive

RE: BMW M5 Competition: UK Drive

Tuesday 23rd October 2018

BMW M5 Competition: UK Drive

The quickest F90 has been tweaked to go faster. Accept no substitute



Be it the countryside or the continent, for many years the Audi RS6 has arguably been the go to machine for those looking to cover ground as expediently as possible with a family in tow. Recently the ageing Audi may, for us at least, have been deposed by Mercedes' new E63 S but, whichever your current preference, both the RS6 and E63 had had the beating of BMW's F10 M5. Setting aside the differing practicalities of their estate/saloon layouts (the M5's boot is plenty spacious enough for the majority of uses although, admittedly, it's probably best not to try and fit your dog in there) as platforms they remain direct rivals. In the Autobahn arms race, therefore, it's BMW that has been losing ground.

The latest M5 though, the F90, has clawed some back, and now BMW has unleashed its latest upgrade in a bid to regain the upper hand: the M5 Competition. Unlike the recently-launched M2 Competition, which has entirely replaced the regular M2, the M5 Comp is offered alongside its standard sibling as a more focussed alternative. That may seem like a puzzling decision at first, but when you consider that the M2's sportier second act - which markedly improves on its predecessor in many ways - costs only Β£2,500 more, then keeping both options on the table makes little sense.


The M5, on the other hand, is a different proposition. The standard car delivers on BMW's remit almost flawlessly - i.e. the transportation of its occupants as quickly and effortlessly to their destination as possible. Such composure hasn't always been the perceived purpose of an M5, however, and the howling V10s and manual transmissions of the past have, understandably, led many an M enthusiast to find the F90 a little sterile, even a touch soulless, perhaps.

The Competition may not return us to the E60 era, but BMW still hopes it'll assuage those doubters by livening things up a bit. For an extra Β£6,500 over the regular car, then, it increases the output of its twin-turbo 4.4-litre V8 to 625hp (up from 600hp previously) and widens the rev band to make 553lb ft of peak torque available between 1,800 and 5,800rpm. 0-62mph is taken care of in just 3.3 seconds (the same as before) while 124mph can now be reached in 10.8 seconds, three tenths quicker than the conventional car.


That extra oomph is a needle to the M5 Comp's 1,950kg haystack, though - weight having increased by a similarly negligible 10kg. It's in the rest of the changes that the Competition's genius lies. Immediately apparent is its more purposeful stance, a byproduct of a seven millimetre drop in ride height, and increased camber at the front. Less obvious are the new damper hydraulics, 10 per cent stiffer springs, firmer engine mounts and redesigned anti-roll bar linkages.

Modest alterations on the face of things, maybe, but combined they work to equal far more than the sum of their parts. Right away the M5 Competition feels more nimble than standard. The car is up on its toes now, and there's a renewed sense of agility in the way it sweeps through corners. Turn in is noticeably sharper, too - even in the most laid back of the steering's three settings. Lateral grip and traction is much as it was before; which is to say, phenomenal.


Despite its sharper focus, the ride is not overly uncompromising, nor uncomfortably firm. Again, three selectable settings help in this regard, although the softest 'comfort' mode feels slightly too loose for UK roads; its excessive rebound precipitating a wallow over undulating ground. The intermediate 'sport' setting seems the best compromise here, firming things up nicely without being too extreme - but potholes, cracks and cats eyes will still make their presence felt.

Certainly you'll find yourself becoming familiar with the latter. At 1,903mm wide the M5 is only 8cm narrower than a Range Rover, meaning that its fit on the South Walian B-roads on which we drove it could best be described as snug. Yet again, though, the enhanced precision offered up by the steering, if not able to completely disguise the width, goes some way to mitigating any resulting sense of unease.


New exhaust pipes round out the changes, emitting a deeper rasp, as well as barrages of ever-exciting crackles and bangs. While the soundtrack still can't claim to match its rivals' intensity, it combines with the Competition's other modifications to imbue the M5 with a greater sense of intent than the F90 generation has previously known. The logic behind BMW's decision not to simply replace the standard car with this one certainly makes sense on paper, but for us the choice is a no-brainer. When it comes to the M5, the Competition is the car to have.


SPECIFICATION - BMW M5 COMPETITION

Engine: 4,395cc, V8, twin-turbocharged
Power (hp): 625@6,000rpm
Torque (lb ft): 553@1,800-5,800rpm
0-62mph: 3.3 seconds
Top speed: 190mph
Weight: 1,950kg
MPG: 26.1
CO2: 246g/km
Price: Β£96,205

Author
Discussion

Nerdherder

Original Poster:

1,277 posts

42 months

Tuesday 23rd October 2018
quotequote all
Sure could live with this. Does not stir the soul however,

GroundEffect

11,495 posts

101 months

Tuesday 23rd October 2018
quotequote all
0-62mph in 3.3 seconds, in a luxury 2-tonne barge biggrin

Onehp

1,087 posts

228 months

Tuesday 23rd October 2018
quotequote all
Hmm. A dutch road tester thought the suspension to be uncompromisingly uncomfortable and recommended the regular M5. Subjective I presume, and depending on what way you can feel those cats eyes. If it's through the steering wheel, fine. But if it upsets the rear passengers... then it's definitely not to everyone's taste.
Wouldn't mind the competition, while it is (less then) 2 tonnes it is suitably lighter (100-200kg+) than the competition, that is not itself, but the E63s and Panamera Turbo. And a whole lot better then anything fashionable with 4wd...

Edit: too => to

Edited by Onehp on Tuesday 23 October 12:12

cookie1600

1,255 posts

106 months

Tuesday 23rd October 2018
quotequote all
Onehp said:
But if it upsets the rear passengers... then it's definitely not too everyone's taste.
Dutch roads are generally far better than ours too in my experience, so possibly a big drawback for the UK. Mind you, all those "ever-exciting crackles and bangs" will probably stop them nodding off anyway.

cerb4.5lee

12,297 posts

125 months

Tuesday 23rd October 2018
quotequote all
GroundEffect said:
0-62mph in 3.3 seconds, in a luxury 2-tonne barge biggrin
That is awesome to be fair. I love how ordinary the M5 has always looked as well, to someone not interested in cars its just a run of the mill 5 series. Stealth central. cool

epom

6,379 posts

106 months

Tuesday 23rd October 2018
quotequote all
cerb4.5lee said:
GroundEffect said:
0-62mph in 3.3 seconds, in a luxury 2-tonne barge biggrin
That is awesome to be fair. I love how ordinary the M5 has always looked as well, to someone not interested in cars its just a run of the mill 5 series. Stealth central. cool
0-124mph in 10.8 seconds hahhahaha thats magnificent.

AmosMoses

3,360 posts

110 months

Tuesday 23rd October 2018
quotequote all
Much more a fan of the E63S, thats if i had £100k for a saloon!

rtz62

1,761 posts

100 months

Tuesday 23rd October 2018
quotequote all
Don’t get me wrong, I love speed and ergo fast cars
Personally I’d raise motorway speed limits to 90mph for cars and restrict lorries to the first 2 lanes of a 4-lane motorway
But this just leaves me cold.
I don’t know why other than I’m struggling to think of many, if any, circumstances you could explore it’s pitential in the UK.

cerb4.5lee

12,297 posts

125 months

Tuesday 23rd October 2018
quotequote all
epom said:
cerb4.5lee said:
GroundEffect said:
0-62mph in 3.3 seconds, in a luxury 2-tonne barge biggrin
That is awesome to be fair. I love how ordinary the M5 has always looked as well, to someone not interested in cars its just a run of the mill 5 series. Stealth central. cool
0-124mph in 10.8 seconds hahhahaha thats magnificent.
yes

Harry_523

174 posts

44 months

Tuesday 23rd October 2018
quotequote all
MAKE. AN. ESTATE.

YESTERDAY! bouncebouncebouncebounce

ben5575

2,055 posts

166 months

Tuesday 23rd October 2018
quotequote all
rtz62 said:
Don’t get me wrong, I love speed and ergo fast cars
Personally I’d raise motorway speed limits to 90mph for cars and restrict lorries to the first 2 lanes of a 4-lane motorway
But this just leaves me cold.
I don’t know why other than I’m struggling to think of many, if any, circumstances you could explore it’s pitential in the UK.
Agree entirely. Relentlessly dull to look at and the speed is almost a parody of itself.

Don't get me wrong, there is a place for mental (ha, apart from the cinema of course laugh), but it needs soul and this has precisely zero. I can't remember the last time I saw a M5 in public.

Wills2

15,939 posts

120 months

Tuesday 23rd October 2018
quotequote all
Makes sense as AMG have both the E63 and S, however you'd be forgiven for not knowing as they never put the standard car up for a test it's always the S against the standard M5 due to the way BMW release the cars and AMG never putting the standard car up for that test.

The more sober suited M5C would be my choice against the chintzy weekend wedding hire E63S every time.


cookie1600

1,255 posts

106 months

Tuesday 23rd October 2018
quotequote all
ben5575 said:
Agree entirely. Relentlessly dull to look at and the speed is almost a parody of itself.
+ another 1

So how long can you keep ragging the 0 to 110 mph times until a camera van catches you (or just a dash cam?). I like spirited driving, but having just done a speed awareness course (phew) I'm ultra careful now looking everywhere for anything to catch me doing just a few mph over the national limit. Even then you can't be going nine-tenths of this kind of performance on a regular basis, so what's the point - bragging rights?

The government, the state of the roads and the amount of cars that fill them have taken a lot of fun out of 'enthusiastic' driving and the article already states how damn wide this thing is on a 'B' road, so the chances of hacking along one of those (without encountering hoards of bikes, horses or pedestrians) means limited or no ultimate need for this kind of power and speed.

/disillusionment

stevekoz

164 posts

107 months

Tuesday 23rd October 2018
quotequote all
Sorry. i may be hated for this but all i have to say is this -

Price: £96,205

I just cannot get my head around how much that is. I cannot and will not argue the performance and tech makes for what is likely breath taking and that it truly is a great car. I'm sure that its wonderful, albeit it will never be an e39 m5 in my eyes. I shall always love the e39.

But that aside. I cannot account for £40k worth of difference over a 540i m sport x drive. In comparison that makes it much more of a bargain in my eyes. I really cannot justify nearly a hundred grand on a german saloon. No matter how exclusive it is.

The 540i is all you need and can use in the real world and would still waft your family and luggage across country with enough left over to buy a small cottage when you get there in comparison.

Just seems a shame that BMW now consider their cars to be so lofty as to command the same as say an Aston Rapide S. For some reason it just makes me a bit sad.


BMWBen

4,653 posts

146 months

Tuesday 23rd October 2018
quotequote all
Firmer suspension huh? Having owned the f10 where the comments you get from people in the back are "the suspension is really firm" I'd say that's probably not a slam dunk of an option biggrin

spikyone

343 posts

45 months

Tuesday 23rd October 2018
quotequote all
Add me to the "not a fan" club. I find the whole horsepower pissing contest utterly tedious. Exocet-fast in a straight line it may be, but it still weighs 2 tonnes. I'd rather have something weighing 1500kg with 300-400bhp. Which brings me onto the most ridiculous part of this car. Which imbecile thought it would be a good idea to call it a "Competition"? I can understand that on a racier version of a sports car or coupe, but on a 4-door the size of Luxembourg? fking ridiculous. I don't know about anyone else but I'd feel a complete idiot telling someone I owned a Competition and then showing them something the Royal Navy could use to launch helicopters.

Onehp

1,087 posts

228 months

Tuesday 23rd October 2018
quotequote all
spikyone said:
Add me to the "not a fan" club. I find the whole horsepower pissing contest utterly tedious. Exocet-fast in a straight line it may be, but it still weighs 2 tonnes. I'd rather have something weighing 1500kg with 300-400bhp.
Which is what I have... Still too fast to be used regularly... But quite enjoyable in the twisties.

The real place for this car is the Autobahn. Easter or southern network. Objectively a M550d is probably better/faster point to point on longer distances though. In summary, you buy it if you like it and can afford it.

I wouldn't mind it. Would drive it as a rally car during winter, driftcar in the wet, push it on twisty roads, take that long supplier visit trough Germany instead of flying, and pretend being a 520d on family trips. Debadge and in a boring colour. If I had some money to throw in a bottomless depreciation pit, that is. Which I don't.

WCZ

6,974 posts

139 months

Tuesday 23rd October 2018
quotequote all
stevekoz said:
Sorry. i may be hated for this but all i have to say is this -

Price: £96,205

I just cannot get my head around how much that is. I cannot and will not argue the performance and tech makes for what is likely breath taking and that it truly is a great car. I'm sure that its wonderful, albeit it will never be an e39 m5 in my eyes. I shall always love the e39.

But that aside. I cannot account for £40k worth of difference over a 540i m sport x drive. In comparison that makes it much more of a bargain in my eyes. I really cannot justify nearly a hundred grand on a german saloon. No matter how exclusive it is.

The 540i is all you need and can use in the real world and would still waft your family and luggage across country with enough left over to buy a small cottage when you get there in comparison.

Just seems a shame that BMW now consider their cars to be so lofty as to command the same as say an Aston Rapide S. For some reason it just makes me a bit sad.
the game done changed

the M6 was over £100k several years ago

if you want better value then go for the C63S, £45,000 and over 500bhp

not bad when you consider a base 911 is £80k and has a crappy 360bhp


JIMMYJ4ZZ

172 posts

18 months

Tuesday 23rd October 2018
quotequote all
WCZ said:
if you want better value then go for the C63S, £45,000 and over 500bhp

not bad when you consider a base 911 is £80k and has a crappy 360bhp
Not sure where £45,000 comes from: A C63s is 75k and suffers from equally bad depreciation!

stevekoz

164 posts

107 months

Tuesday 23rd October 2018
quotequote all
WCZ said:
the game done changed

the M6 was over £100k several years ago

if you want better value then go for the C63S, £45,000 and over 500bhp

not bad when you consider a base 911 is £80k and has a crappy 360bhp
It sure has changed - not for the better IMHO. Just seems lunacy. Why anyone would spend that on an M car i don't know. The m6 now is around the £30-35k mark for an 4 year old m6. Less for a similarly aged f10 M5. Why would you pay it?!

Even if i won the lottery i wouldn't spend 100K on a new bmw - can't think of any reason to do that at all. Ever.