Given how the F90 BMW M5 Competition was received just a couple of years ago - described on PH as "less like a deliberately sharper M5 and more like a better one full stop" - it shouldn't be much a surprise to find the latest update redolent of the first. Not only was it better to drive than a standard M5, it also hit 124mph in less than 11 seconds and boasted the sort of luxury you'd expect from a 7 Series. In short, there was precious little that needed improving.
Nevertheless, BMW has set about making this facelifted M5 Comp "a more compelling proposition than ever." So while the 625hp/553lb ft 4.4-litre V8 is left unchanged (ditto the eight-speed auto) there have been or two interesting tweaks elsewhere. There are new dampers, for starters, said to incorporate lessons learned from the M8 Competition Gran Coupe, plus the option of M Performance coilovers - adjustable in ride height, compression and rebound - for the truly committed. Given all of the F90 M5s have rode pretty fiercely, and this is meant to be "the most performance focused form to date", it'll be interesting to see how both the new standard and optional dampers compare to the old.
The M8 influence extends inside the M5, too, with new infotainment displays and a reworking of the drive modes. Just in case it wasn't complicated enough. So, there's a new 12-inch central screen, with the buttons next to gear lever carried over as well. As a reminder, the 'M Mode' one toggles drive settings between Road, Sport and Track, the latter deactivating all comfort and safety features, muting the audio and turning the central screen off. The instrument cluster and head-up display also alters with Track mode.
More configurability is available via the 'setup' button below next to M mode. As in the M8 equivalent, it permits adjustment of the various dynamic parameters to better align the M1 and M2 pre-set buttons with what you want them to achieve. So you'll set a silly one, and sensible one, and leave it at that most likely. Then there are the active safety and driver assistance technologies to work out...
More dynamic (and potentially bewildering) configurability in a modern M car isn't much of a surprise nowadays - and nor is a very modest cosmetic facelift. Like the recently revealed standard 5 Series, and familiar to many a mid-life update from BMW, this M5 is very much recognisable as an F90 generation car. The tweaks come in the form of new kidney grilles, "bolder contouring" of the front end, larger intakes, LED lights front and rear, re-profiled exhausts and a new design of diffuser. It's very much as you were - certainly it's unlikely to offend, though those who've always found this M5 a little apologetic to look at won't be too encouraged.
BMW will also offer M5 Competition owners in the UK a refreshed choice of paint colour and wheels. This is Motegi Red metallic, which joins the line up with Brands Hatch Grey and Bluestone as one of the standard colours, Optionally available are Tanzanite Blue, Aventurine Red and Alvit Grey (which was Champagne Quartz). The wheels seen here are also new, the 20-inch M double-spoke in polished Orbit Grey.
That's the new M5 Competition, then, a car which existing fans are surely going to love - leaving everyone else to feel just the same about. It's available to order now from £98,095, a price rise of just about £2k from its original launch. Expect many to breach £100,000, though, especially given the Ultimate Package offered on the M8 - £20,000 in that car, with the ceramic brakes, the Laserlights, some carbon trinkets, a B&W stereo upgrade and more - is also now on the M5 extras list (though the price isn't yet confirmed). Which is a very long way of saying the old M5 Competition looks more tempting than ever for the savvy secondhand buyer, given relatively little has changed; £65,000 will buy a car like this with fewer than 5,000 miles. Expect deliveries of the new M5 Comp to begin later this year.
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