Cars > Peek

BMW has come up with a more powerful, more special M5

It has 625hp and the ‘Competition’ moniker

Yeah, just because the regular M5 isn't exciting enough. PHOTO FROM BMW

Most of the time, the letter M is a pretty unremarkable character, sitting peacefully at the 13th position of the modern English alphabet and helping words like “mellow,” “mundane” and “moderate” make sense. Attach it to the back of a family sedan from Bavaria and it’s a different story, though. Engineers at BMW recently set out to create the meanest M out there, and the remarkable result is the new M5 Competition, a ferocious machine designed to make alphabet soup out of its rivals.

Those who will challenge you to a race are in for a surprise. PHOTO FROM BMW

Maybe it’s the local beer or the thin mountain air flowing in from the Bavarian Alps, but something must have made the big bosses at BMW HQ in Munich sit down in their offices and think: “The normal M5, with its 600hp and 750Nm, is nice, but it somehow just doesn’t seem fast enough.” Whatever it was that made them decide to send one of the most powerful cars on earth back to the gym, the M division across the road from the famous four-cylinder building didn’t need asking twice.

That's definitely an interesting 20-inch wheel design. PHOTOS FROM BMW

The result of their labor does not only squeeze more power (625hp) out of the 4.4-liter twin-turbo V8 than the standard M5 does, but it also comes with various tweaks to the car’s chassis and performance components. These include firmer engine mounts, stiffer front and rear springs, increased camber at the front axle, an overall stance that has been lowered by a further 7mm, and toe links that are fitted with ball joints instead of rubber mounts. All of these adjustments are geared toward just one thing: more speed.

Subtle visual cues differentiate this from the regular M5. PHOTOS FROM BMW

Stomp on the accelerator and this brute will storm from zero to 100km/h in a mere 3.3 seconds, with 200km/h over and done with in 10.8 seconds and the top speed set north of 300km/h. The responsibility of distributing all that power to the four wheels has been given to an eight-speed M Steptronic transmission that comes with its own oil cooler to keep the smiles going during lengthy track days, while BMW’s M xDrive system contributes an electronically controlled multiplate clutch and an active differential to send all those raging horses wherever they are needed the most. This setup also allows drivers to choose between four-wheel drive for fast lap times, and a pure rear-wheel-drive setting for sideways fun until the 285mm-wide rear tires burst.

Specially developed 20-inch alloy wheels give the car a more dynamic look, and also help to show off the M compound brakes or the optional M carbon-ceramic stoppers, while a number of subtle design features will give the M5 Competition away to people who know what to look for.

'Driving duties' has never really sounded so tempting. PHOTOS FROM BMW

Inside, it’s luxury express meets manic track monster, with the driver not only being able to choose between efficient, sporty and ultra-dynamic driving modes while enjoying the sumptuous leather seats, but also having control over how the car sounds thanks to an active exhaust and a sound control button.

But then, the luxurious back seat isn't all that bad either. PHOTOS FROM BMW

Not only is the M5 Competition the result of precision surgery by some of the most skilled automotive doctors in the industry, but it also represents the official start of a new product category, as BMW has announced that it will now sell the most powerful versions of its M cars as stand-alone models under the Competition name, no doubt a decision based on past sales results. Production will start in July with no word yet on pricing or availability on the Philippine market.

Frank Schuengel

Frank is a German e-commerce executive who loves his wife, a Filipina, so much he decided to base himself in Manila. He has interesting thoughts on Philippine motoring. He writes the aptly named ‘Frankly’ column.