2019 BMW M5 Competition: A More Menacing M

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky
2019 bmw m5 competition a more menacing m

As domestic automakers usher sedans onto the precipice of a mass grave, it appears German manufacturers have yet to give up on them — at least the fancier ones. BMW recently announced the M5 Competition, which is an amped-up version of the standard performance model.

Somehow, we get the feeling the Competition exists only so BMW can set a better lap time at the Nürburgring. Excluding its visual enhancements, we doubt many drivers would be able to notice any changes from the already fast M5.

Adding 17 additional horses to a lightweight hatchback is transformative, but the same cannot be said for a 600 hp sedan weighing in at over two tons. But that’s what the Competition offers — along with revamped suspension tuning, more aggressive looks, and an angrier sound.

None of that is bad, however. Shaving off a tenth of a second to 60 mph (and three-tenths to 124 mph) still represents an overall improvement, whether it’s discernible when entering the highway or not. We’re just not positive it’s worth the money if you’re not in the habit of taking your M5 to track days.

Torque remains unchanged from the standard model. The M5 Competition’s turbocharged 4.4-liter V8 still makes 553 lb-ft of torque. But it is on a slightly wider band, with the pull coming in between 1,800 and 5,860 rpm.

Riding seven millimeters closer to the ground vs the normal M5, BMW has also implemented tweaks to the Competition’s springs and dampers. It won’t be bone shattering on a bumpy road, but expect a firmer ride overall. Increased negative camber on the front axle should give the tires better purchase in the turns, as well.

Top speed is a sufficient-for-most 155 mph. Those unsatisfied can option in the M Driver’s Package, making the model capable of 189 mph. In addition to removing the speed governor, BMW is offering a driver’s training course for customers who purchase the package.

Without it, the 2019 BMW M5 Competition costs $110,995, including a $995 destination fee. That’s $7,400 more than the standard M5 sedan. However, you do get Y-spoke alloy wheels and gloss-black accents all over the exterior, along with an active M Sport exhaust with similarly dark finishers. Interior changes are more subtle and include unique seat belts, floor mats, and instrument cluster graphics.

The important thing is that the car looks and sounds more menacing. For many, that will be enough to rationalize the price. Production of the 2019 BMW M5 Competition is slated to begin in July.

[Images: BMW]

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  • RSF RSF on May 10, 2018

    The Carbon Fiber roof sells it. Always has on the Competition models.

  • John R John R on May 10, 2018

    Why isn't this the standard M5? Why do this? If this is too spicy for some people then have the dealer show them a 550i with an M-sport package.

  • Mike Beranek This guy called and wants his business model back.
  • SCE to AUX The solid state battery is vaporware.As for software-limited pack capacity: Batteries are obviously the most expensive component of an EV, so on the rare occasion that pack capacity is dramatically limited (as in your 6-year-old example), it's because economies of scale briefly made sense at the time.Mfrs are not in the habit of overbuilding pack capacity just for fun, and then charging the customer less.Since then, pack capacities have been slightly increased via software because the mfr decides they can sacrifice a little bit of the normal safety/wear margin in the interest of range. We're talking single-digit percentages, not the 60/75 kWh jump in your example.Every pack has maybe 10% margin built into it, so eating into that today (via range increases) means it's not available to make up for battery degradation tomorrow. My 4-year-old EV still has its original range(s) and 100% SOH, but that's surely because it is slowly consuming the margin built into the pack.@Matt Posky: Not everything is a conspiracy to get your credit card account, and the lengthy editorial about this has nothing to do with solid state batteries.
  • JLGOLDEN In order for this total newcomer to grab and hold attention in the US market, the products MUST be an exceptional value. Not many people will pay name-brand money for the pretty mystery. I can appreciate the ambition of selling $50K+ crossovers, but I think they will go farther with their $30K-$40K offerings.
  • Dukeisduke They're where Tesla was when it started - a complete unknown. I haven't heard anything about a dealer network. How are they going to sell these? Direct like Tesla? Franchises picked up by existing new car dealers?
  • Master Baiter As I approach retirement, and watch my IRA and 401K account balances dwindle, I have less and less interest in $150K vehicles.
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