I was very excited to hear about the new BMW M5 Competition when it was announced, but it had me thinking, where does it fit? Is it a sports car, is it an executive saloon, who would buy it?
The 2019 BMW M5 Competition in unarguably a masterpiece. The level of engineering that has gone in to it is incredible and it’s a car with two very different personalities. On the surface, despite some welcomed cosmetic tweaks over the original M5, it is not a shouty car at all, especially in the Donnington Grey colour we had. Unless you are in Sports Plus with the exhaust valves wide open, it doesn’t turn too many heads.
For some people, its understated looks will likely be the appeal. Being able to have a car with such technology and ability, all whilst keeping under the radar. For others this may have the polar opposite effect, if they are spending in excess of £100k on a car, they may well want that attention. I took the car along to a local air show where it was parked up on stand with a range of other sports and supercars. I was shocked at how many people walked passed the car without so much as raising an eyebrow. But again, this is part of it’s charm.
On the road the M5 Competition really is an animal, with 623hp and 750nm or torque you can put your foot down in any gear, at any speed and it will just go. Rather worryingly so in some cases where you can be passing legal speed limits so effortlessly and without realising. Interestingly BMW also decided to use the ZF 8 speed as opposed to their DCT. We are seeing more and more cars move to this ZF gearbox over the DCT alternatives and I must say, it works very well in the M5. The level of grip from the car is truly staggering, this is thanks to it’s x-drive system and the Michelins certainly play their part. For those wanting a little more drama, you can also have the car in RWD only with DSC disabled if you so dare. There is a video coming soon where our very own Paul Woodman and Tiff Needell enable this mode on a small runway for a bit of fun, so stay tuned for that!
On the flip side, you can put the car in to comfort, enable your massaging heated and cooled seats, and just soak up some miles whilst blending in to your surroundings. It is amazing how well this car achieves both personalities, there is little to no compromise with either guise. Fuel consumption is certainly something to be mindful of, but what would you expect from such a brutal engine?! I did challenge myself on one trip back from the coast to see what I could achieve on A and B roads. With a relatively clear run I was able to get just under 25mpg (read out from the trip computer) which isn’t the bad considering the power you have, but I must stress this was not an enjoyable run, I was really having to work for it and under normal circumstances I almost certainly wouldn’t achieve that!
So who is this car for? It’s for someone who wants a performance car but doesn’t want to shout about it. Someone who maybe needs to sometimes eat up some miles, and wants to do so from a cockpit that gives them all the mod cons to make their journey as pleasant as possible. I do think the Sports Saloon segment is quite a niche area, but BMW have really put their stamp on it with the BMW M5 Competition.
Be sure to head over to our YouTube channel to see our feature on the standard BMW M5 here.