With an extra 25bhp, broader torque range and bespoke, track-focused chassis tuning, plus a whole lot of seriously cool interior and exterior trim upgrades, the new Competition arrives as the crowning glory of the entire M range. In fact with the 4.4-litre twin-turbo V8 pumping out 616bhp it beats even the top V12 7-Series as most powerful BMW on sale.
As you would expect it all translates into a faster car, if only by degrees: the turbo’ed and all-wheel drive sixth-gen M5 for 2018 is already a seriously fast car. In a drag race against the standard M5, the Competition is a tenth quicker to 62mph at 3.3 seconds, and three tenths quicker to 124mph, at 10.8 seconds. With the M Driver’s package, the car will hit 189mph de-restricted.
The extra top-end power and the maximum 55 lbft of torque now spread out between 1800 and 5800rpm (200rpm more than before), promise to come into sharp focus on a track. BMW says the car can deliver “a race-inspired driving experience” and is especially suited to ultra-dynamic grand prix tracks. As before, selecting Sport mode activates the damper settings used for testing on the Nürburgring’s Nordschleife.
The chassis tuning involves lowering the body 7mm and tweaks by M chassis gurus to suspension geometry (more front camber, new balljoints instead of rubber for rear toe joints), and recalibrated anti-roll bars and dampers plus 10 per cent stiffer springs. While BMW says the ride is firmer it also says there is more precise high-speed wheel control and the car turns in more directly, thanks in part to new engine mounts. Developed for the M5 Competition, the new mounts are said also to improve engine response.