I simply bought again from a late-night drive within the 2021 BMW M5 Competitors, and each single synapse in my mind is firing off like I’m being electrocuted. My pupils are dilated, my coronary heart is pounding in my ears, and my fingertips are tingling. I have to take a stroll across the block for a couple of minutes earlier than I can go to mattress, as a result of I’m fully overstimulated and virtually bathing in adrenaline. That is one quick four-door.
I’ve pushed the mechanically related M8 Competitors earlier than and skilled its pin-you-back acceleration and relentless grip, however the coupe feels extra like an equipment of pace than a four-wheeled plaything. After experiencing the M5 Comp on a abandoned Decker Canyon Highway, I can’t say the identical of BMW’s different 617-horsepower providing. It’s as bombastic in a straight line because the M8, however whether or not it’s the disarming, nominally family-friendly sedan form or some authentic mechanical distinction between the 2, the M5 is far more involving. In fact, nothing’s excellent, however the attract of this M-powered sedan is tough to disregard.
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The BMW M5 Competitors immediately impresses its driver with right-now acceleration, courtesy of a twin-turbocharged 4.4-liter V8 that makes its aforementioned 617 horses at 6,000 rpm and 553 pound-feet at simply 1,800 rpm. That’s 17 hp greater than the non-Competitors M5 and 94 greater than the M550i xDrive that my colleague Jeff drove a number of weeks in the past – although eager eyes will be aware that every one three share the identical torque output. Irrespective of: Based on BMW, the Competitors mannequin continues to be the highest canine within the 5 Collection line, hitting 60 miles per hour in simply 2.9 seconds, chopping a tenth off the common M5 and seven-tenths from the M550i.
Extra spectacular than the numbers is how the M5C places them down. Set to its most aggressive drive mode, the large sedan supplies practically prompt throttle response, sending grunt securely to all 4 grippy Pirelli P Zero summer season tires. The eight-speed computerized transmission is simply nearly as good because the engine, selecting gears completely and delivering lightning-quick shifts – who wants two clutches when the torque converter is that this good? All of it provides as much as Prime Gun efficiency in an executive-jet bundle.
It’s tough to get wherever close to the M5 Competitors’s limits on a public street, however even zipping round a hairpin flip at 30 mph provides you a way of the efficiency out there. Some thanks go to the xDrive all-wheel drive system, tuned by BMW M to offer extra impartial, rear-biased dealing with. The automaker additionally supplies a devoted rear-drive mode that leaves the entrance axle shafts on standby, enabling lurid drifts. I didn’t tempt destiny thus – 617 horsepower is loads for such a good street as Decker Canyon – however even with all 4 wheels churning, the M5 is nimble and pleasurable with out sacrificing stability or corner-exit grip.
The M adaptive suspension additionally deserves some credit score. Its stiffest Sport Plus mode is a mite too harsh for broken roads, however Sport is a pleasant steadiness of compliance and wheel management, providing good transitional response between corners to go together with the M5’s pleasantly heavy steering.
As undeniably sporty because the M5 Competitors is, it additionally boasts flagship-level model and luxurious. My tester wore a beautiful coat of Verde Ermes paint, a BMW Particular person choice that appears like each penny of its $5,000 price – stroll round it on a sunny day and the contours remodel from black to inexperienced to gold and again once more. Full Merino leather-based covers the seats, door panels, dashboard, and console, gently padding each floor your eyes and arms encounter. And construct high quality is almost faultless; I’ve sat in Bentleys that felt much less particular.
With its varied car modes set to their most snug settings, the BMW M5 even makes for an honest every day driver. These adaptive suspenders present a clean and nice experience on unhealthy pavement, sustaining physique management however limiting intrusions to a damped thump and little else. The leather-intensive inside boasts supportive and cozy seats entrance and rear, and there’s 14.0 cubic toes of bags area too. And should you don’t toe into the ability, you’d by no means know the M5 was any completely different from a well-optioned 540i. It’s simply as a lot a commuting pussycat as it’s a canyon hellhound.
BMW actually must get its efficiency ergonomics down. As a substitute of 1 single drive-select button that scrolls between Consolation, Effectivity, and Sport for the entire car, the M5 forces you to enter iDrive and choose every car system’s setting – throttle, suspension, steering, and xDrive, with a separate button for the game exhaust. After which on prime of that, a button on the shift knob units the pace and ferocity of every gear change. It actually needs to be a two- or three-step affair to set the M5 up for efficiency (or an extended commute), and as a substitute, it requires a strong minute of iDrive intimacy earlier than setting off.
The steering wheel’s M1 and M2 buttons retailer reconfigurable drive modes, at the very least. I set one to be as snug as potential and the opposite to be sporty whereas sustaining the protection internet of stability management.
No BMW M5 is affordable – the lineup begins at $105,495 together with a $1,000 gasoline guzzler tax and $995 vacation spot cost. A Competitors mannequin begins at $113,095, a worthy sum given it features a greater prime pace, extra energy, beautiful 20-inch wheels, and a multi-mode M sport exhaust system. From there, although, it will get onerous to justify choices. Sure, the $5,000 paint is beautiful and particular, however why does BMW demand an extra $3,500 for prolonged leather-based at this value level? Ditto the $1,700 Driving Help Plus bundle, which bundles the automaker’s wonderful Degree 2 semi-autonomous expertise.
And I can’t envision spending $8,500 on carbon ceramic brakes. Who’s spending six figures on a BMW sedan after which taking it to the race observe usually sufficient to justify such costly stoppers? The usual metal brakes are most likely satisfactory for 99 p.c of use instances. With a number of different extras, this explicit BMW M5 Competitors prices a gasping $141,045, not unhealthy given the efficiency on supply, however a savvy shopper may replicate a lot of the expertise for $20,000 much less.
Each 2021 BMW 5 Collection now comes customary with Shadowline lighting, which places the head- and taillights in sickly, darkened housings. Moreover, the Competitors Bundle contains prolonged Shadowline trim, making use of gloss black to the grille, mirror caps, and different physique jewellery. I is likely to be within the minority right here, however I want there have been a bit extra brightwork on the M5, particularly for the reason that Verde Ermes paintwork is so lustrous and engaging.