BMW M5 Competition Edition review

The BMW M5 Competition Edition is a celebration of the Munich maker's F10 generation M5 sports saloon. The experts at Car & Driving check it out.

Ten Second Review

The F10-generation BMW M5 has long been the yardstick against which all serious performance saloons are judged, but it'll shortly be no more. To celebrate its production run, BMW has released just 200 upgraded 'Competition Edtion' variants for sale worldwide. Let's check out what's on offer.

Background

The fifth generation version of BMW's M5 version had an awful lot to live up to. It's predecessors had been highly rated and this MK5 model just had to deliver. Purists weren't sure whether it would, for out went the previous version's 5.0-litre normally-aspirated V10 and in came a cleaner, greener but even more powerful 4.4-litre turbocharged V8, making this the first M5 to be fitted with turbos. The result might not have been quite as involving as some enthusiasts were hoping but it was certainly an awesomely capable sports saloon. To emphasise the fact, this final 'Competition Edition' gets un uprated 600bhp engine and an 'M Competition' handling package to justify its eye-watering six-figure asking price.

Driving Experience

Performance. I suggest we can tick that box. With 600bhp on tap, the 'Competition Edition' M5 offers 40bhp more than the previous standard model. As a result, torque is up from 680 to 700Nm and the 0-62mph capability improves from 4.4 to 3.9s. The top speed is still articially limited to 155mph. There's more to the changes made here than simply extra power though. The included 'M Competition Package' gives you stiffer responses from the springs and electronically controlled dampers, along with thicker anti-roll bars. The Active M electronically controlled multi-plate limited slip differential, which intervenes rapidly and precisely at an early stage to control wheelspin and keep the car stable, has been re-calibrated for an even more sporty response. Otherwise, the M5 package is as it was before. So owners get three Drive Control settings to choose from that alter suspension, steering and throttle response: Comfort for normal road use, Sport when a more dynamic driving style is preferred and Sport Plus for the most extreme driving, such as on a race track. Six-piston caliper brakes provide awesome stopping power. Power is deployed via a seven-speed M Double Clutch auto Transmission.

Design and Build

The familiar yet powerful presence of the BMW M5 is further emphasised on this Competition Edition version thanks to the use of BMW M Performance Parts. These consist of a rear spoiler, rear diffuser and mirror caps all manufactured from carbon fibre, and a gloss black kidney grille. Just two colours are available - Mineral White and Carbon Black - with the 'M5 Competition' logo appearing on the famous side 'gills'. Otherwise, the F10 generation M5 package is as it was and the broad black grille slats and the trio of air intakes combine with the LED light rings and bi-xenon main beams to afford some serious rear view mirror presence. The wheel arches are gently teased over 20-inch M Double-spoke 601M light alloy wheels, finished in high gloss Jet Black. The lowered suspensions means the car's stance is spot on, the wheel arches properly stuffed and with the perfect amount of ramp angle in the body to give the car a tense, poised appearance. The rear view contains a four-pipe exhaust pack, divided either side of the diffuser, whilst a small flap on the rear edge of the boot lid provides additional downforce at speed.

Market and Model

The price for all of this? £100,995 if you're asking, which is around £25,000 more than the cost of the standard version you can no longer buy. In return, you get the bodykit and handling tweaks we've detailed elsewhere in this story, plus an extensive range of equipment including Adaptive LED headlights, a Reversing Assist camera, powered bootlid operation and sun protection glass. Inside, occupants benefit from front and rear heated seats, receive an electric rear sunblind and can experience supreme listening through the Bang & Olufsen Advanced audio system. The M5 Competition Edition also benefits from full Black Merino leather upholstery with Opal White contrast stitching. Opal White is also used for the 'M5' logo that now appears on the head restraints of the M Sport multi-function seats, and for the piping of the anthracite floor mats. To accentuate the exclusivity of the car, the M Performance interior trim in carbon finish features the 'M5 Competition' logo along with the unique "1/200" designation.

Cost of Ownership

No car with 600bhp on tap is ever going to be inexpensive to run but if anybody can pull a rabbit out of the hat, it's BMW. With some of its competitors knocking on the door of 300g/km emissions, the M5 shows the way forward with 231g/km while fuel economy sees a combined figure of 28.5mpg. If you can replicate this figure, you probably don't deserve an M5 in the first instance though. Demand for used M5s is usually strong but this run-out edition is pricey and may take a depreciation dive unless its rarity value is truly recognised by the market.

Summary

The one statistic that best sums up this BMW M5 is the fact that with the engine ticking over at 1,000rpm, it's making more torque than its previous generation normally aspirated predecessor did at max chat. The turbocharged V8 in this F10 car remains big on muscle and offers a handy horsepower increase in this Competition Edition form. Is that and a little extra equipment really enough to justify its £100,000 asking price? Probably not. You'd like one though. We know we would.