BMW

BMW M5 SALOON M5 Competition 4dr DCT

Fuel

FuelPetrol

Transmission

TransmissionAutomatic

Acceleration

0 - 62 mph3.3s

WLTP - CO2 (g/km)

WLTP - CO2252 g/km

BMW's M5 is the yardstick against which all serious performance saloons are judged, a car that's now in its sixth 'F90' generation and is only these days offered in top 625hp 'Competition' guise. It's recently been lightly updated, both inside and out. And as before, features a throaty 4.,4-litre V8 beneath the bonnet. There's xDrive 4WD, a trick rear diff gets the power to the tarmac, there's a track-style paddleshift auto gearbox and you get a myriad of drive mode settings to make this the most configurable performance car on the planet. Munich, it seems, has thought of almost everything.

FIVE COMES ALIVE

BMW's M5 Competition model still defines what a super saloon should be. Jonathan Crouch takes a look.

Ten Second Review

BMW's M5 is the yardstick against which all serious performance saloons are judged, a car that's now in its sixth 'F90' generation and is only these days offered in top 625hp 'Competition' guise. It's recently been lightly updated, both inside and out. And as before, features a throaty 4.,4-litre V8 beneath the bonnet. There's xDrive 4WD, a trick rear diff gets the power to the tarmac, there's a track-style paddleshift auto gearbox and you get a myriad of drive mode settings to make this the most configurable performance car on the planet. Munich, it seems, has thought of almost everything.

Background

BMW invented the executive super saloon with their M5 and though Audi's RS6 and AMG versions of Mercedes' E-Class have offered stiff competition in recent years, for many, this remains the definitive motorsport-bred business blaster. Time to rate the improved take on this 'F90'-series sixth generation version. From the outset in 1984, this model line was all about straight six power, normal aspiration and rear wheel drive but over the years, all these original staples have evolved as BMW seeks to reinterpret what the ultimate super saloon should be. A V8 engine arrived for the 'E39' third generation version in 1998. And turbocharging was adopted for this current car's fifth generation 'F10'-series predecessor in 2011. With this 'F90'-series car, we at last got 4WD too, though BMW reassures us that you can turn it off if you want and slide the back around. Which is nice... The main reason all-wheel drive traction is needed lies with the news that engine output from the twin turbo V8 unit that's carried over here has now reached 625hp in this 'Competition' guise. We're here to put it all to the test - and enjoy a fresh chapter in the history of one of our favourite high performance standard-setters.

Driving Experience

We've tested every generation of M5 over the last thirty five years - but nothing quite like this sixth 'F90'-series incarnation. When it first arrived in 2018, the big news was the addition of 4WD to the package, an M xDrive system incorporated in such a way as to only activate additional drive to the front wheels in extremis, so keeping this BMW's essentially rear-driven character. There's a selectable track-orientated 2WD-only driving mode if you really want to throw the back around. Power is provided by a revised version of the 4.4-litre V8 unit used by the previous 'F10'-series model. In Competition form, thanks to a sharp set of twin turbos, a sophisticated cooling system, a free flowing exhaust and high injection pressures, it puts out 750Nm of torque and 625hp - 65hp more than the previous pre-2018-era generation model for reference. Power's transmitted via a torque-converter 8-speed 'M Steptronic' auto transmission. The alternative is an M5 CS model which boosts power to 635hp and gets a 70kg weight reduction, plus a range of detail engineering tweaks and stickier track tyres with M Carbon ceramic brakes. Whatever your choice of variant, the V8 powerplant doesn't quite have the thundery bluster of the AMG V8 used in this M5's Mercedes E 63 arch-rival, even if the optional M Sport-tuned tail pipes are fitted. But its output is now certainly a match for that Stuttgart saloon, as are the performance figures, which see 62mph from rest taking just 3.3s in this Competition model en route to a top speed that when de-restricted will take you to 190mph. That's Ferrari-fast. But of course a two-tonne super saloon isn't going to change direction with the agility of that Maranello model. Or so you'd think. Actually, the M5 does an astonishingly good job of disguising all that bulk, aided hugely by the Active M differential that varies torque across the M-specific back axle. A selectable 'M Dynamic Mode' holds the key to controlled drifts and entertaining handling, and offers another three modes (with DSC deactivated) which have been optimised for track driving: as well as 4WD and 4WD Sport, drivers also have the choice of 2WD mode (also automatically disabling DSC) for the traditional BMW M5 rear-wheel drive experience. BMW has tweaked the suspension dampers and the M Performance chassis for even sharper handling and there are bespoke engine mounts and special M Compound brakes. You'll need them.

Design and Build

This improved M5 Competition model does of course feature the most recent visual changes made to less exalted 5 Series models, so there's a redesigned front kidney grille and a smarter front apron. As before, you'd have to know your BMWs to recognise this one's exalted status. The wheel arches are gently teased over M Double-spoke 20-inch alloys, through which you glimpse the high performance braking system. In addition, there are M-specific mirrors and M5-branded side gills - but that's about it for the model-specific changes. Unless you happen to be admiring the car from an upper window. Then you'll be able to take in the lovely 'CFRP' 'CarbonFibre Reinforced Pastic' roof. It says a lot about the quality of the seventh generation 'G30' BMW 5 Series that it's only taken a bit of fairly minor fettling to make this cabin feel entirely appropriate to a car with a six-figure price tag. And to a supersonic saloon with Ferrari levels of performance. The primary contributor to that lies with the M multifunctional sports seats, which grip you tightly, use soft fine grain Merino leather and feature an 'M5' logo beneath the headrest. Changes made to this revised model include the introduction of a larger 12.3-inch central infotainment screen. And two new buttons on the centre console - like those found in the BMW M8 - provide more direct access to system settings and the various readouts in the instrument cluster and Head-Up Display. As before, you also get a red starter button and anthracite-coloured alcantara headlining. And the main controls are nicely finished - the bespoke red-striped stick you get for the new eight-speed M Stepronic auto gearbox and the thick three-spoke M leather steering wheel with its important two red Memory-setting buttons you'll want to programme to your preferences at the earliest opportunity. Through it, you view an M-branded set of graphics in the standard 'Digital Cockpit' instrument binnacle screen. In the rear, there's a fraction less space than you'd get in a rival E 63, but the difference isn't very great. Out back, there's a decent-sized 530-litre boot.

Market and Model

Pricing's taken quite a leap for the improved version of this sixth generation model, which now lists at around £102,000 in this 625hp Competition form. There's also an even more focused 635hp M5 CS model, but that costs nearly £141,000. Back in 2011, the previous 'F10'-series rear-driven MK5 version launched at around £70,000, but of course this time round, with Cpompetition and CS variants, you get AWD, more power and more kit. In case you were wondering, there's only a saloon body style on offer; some previous generation M5s have also been available in 'Touring' estate guise. BMW says it's looked at that for this 'F90'-series car, but because the rear axle and wheel travel is quite different on a 5 Series wagon, quite a lot of redevelopment would be needed. It'd be a great car though. Few commentators have questioned this car's value proposition, but we're going to by pointing out that the asking price here is vastly more than you'd pay for the top model in the conventional 5 Series range, a 550i xDrive M Sport. That variant may only put out 523hp, but it still has AWD and is only a fraction slower from rest to 62mph. Visually, it doesn't look much different. And you can get it as an estate..

Cost of Ownership

BMW's quick to tell us that the kerb weight of this sixth generation 'F90'-series M5 has dropped by 15kgs over the previous model, but not so keen to remind us that this car still weighs the best part of two tonnes, despite its 'cluster architecture' underpinnings and composite carbonfibre-style roof. Still, delivering 4WD and a lot more equipment this time round without any really significant drop in fuel economy or CO2 returns has to be seen as something of a result. Let's get to the figures, though of course they're pretty irrelevant because if you were to regularly replicate them, we'd have to wonder why you bothered buying an M5 in the first place. It's interesting though, to see how they slightly shade those of its closest competitor, the Mercedes-AMG E 63. For the M5 Competition, the WLTP-rated CO2 reading is 253-255g/km. And the combined cycle fuel figure is around 25mpg. The M5 CS model's small weight reduction doesn't help you with running cost efficiency of course. That's rated for the CS version at 25.0-25.9mpg (for combined cycle fuel economy) and 248-257g/km (for CO2).

Summary

With this improved 'F90'-series model, the development team has proved that an AWD M5 can still retain a rear-driven, enthusiast-orientated character. And delivered a super saloon that's as happy collecting your dry cleaning as it is on the Nurburgring Nordschleife. If you are on a circuit, it's good that you don't have to have all-wheel traction unless you want it, but unless you're an expert or intent on showing off, we're guessing you'll really value that extra tractional help in extremis. And on a wet, icy morning, it'll give you the small but crucial extra dose of confidence that'll allow you to enjoy this car even more. This would be our fast four-door of choice if money were no object - and, we suspect, probably yours too. We wish it wasn't so expensive, but it's more engaging than its predecessor and more real-world usable too. In short, this car is, more than ever, everything an M5 should be.

  • Heated windscreen washer jets
  • Rain sensor including auto headlights activation
  • Sun protection glazing
  • Electric front and rear windows with fingertip open/close + anti-trap all round and comfort closing function

  • Electromechanical parking brake with automatic drive away release and auto hold function
  • Anti-lock braking system (ABS)
  • Dynamic brake control
  • CBC - (Cornering brake control)
  • Motor Slip Regulation (MSR) - Engine Drag Torque Control
  • Dynamic Traction Control - DTC
  • Hill start assist
  • Automatic Stability Control (ASC)
  • DSC - Dynamic Stability Control
  • Brake assist function
  • Electronic brake force distribution
  • Brake energy regeneration

  • Black velour front and rear floor mats with M piping

  • Adaptive suspension with dynamic damping control
  • Double wishbone front axle
  • Integral rear axle

  • Enhanced bluetooth telephony with wireless charging

  • Active Guard
  • M Servotronic steering

  • Start/stop red button
  • Automatic operation of tailgate - electrically opening/closing rear tailgate

  • BMW ConnectedDrive online services
  • BMW Head up display
  • BMW Drive recorder
  • Oil sensor for level and grade
  • BMW legal emergency call
  • On-board diagnosis - OBD
  • Brake force display
  • BMW Teleservices
  • Wifi hotspot preparation
  • iDrive touch controller with shortcut buttons
  • Service interval indicator
  • BMW Live Cockpit Professional sat nav system with 12.3" instrument display and high resolution control display
  • 32GB hard disc drive (HDD) memory
  • Powered by Operating System 7.0
  • On board computer (OBC) includes average speed, fuel consumption and range, journey computer, outside temperature display, personal profile functions

  • M specific electrically adjustable/foldable/heated exterior mirrors with integrated direction indicators
  • Automatically dimming rear view mirror
  • Interior rear view mirror with automatic anti dazzle function

  • Galvanic embellisher for controls

  • Petrol Particulate Filter
  • Engine cover with M designation

  • Favourite buttons
  • BMW gesture control
  • DAB tuner

  • All round anti-corrosion system
  • Illuminated door sill finishers with M5 designation
  • Door handle illumination
  • Carbon fibre roof
  • M Sport exhaust system
  • Black exhaust tailpipes
  • Body coloured bumpers
  • M rear spoiler
  • Body coloured door handles inserts

  • LED daytime running lights
  • High beam assistant
  • Follow me home headlight function
  • Dynamic brake lights with LED technology

  • 4 zone control automatic air conditioning

  • Through loading system with 40/20/40 split folding rear seat
  • M leather steering wheel
  • Multifunction controls for leather steering wheel
  • Lockable glove compartment with light
  • Battery in luggage compartment with jump start facility in engine bay
  • Cup holders (2 front and 2 rear)
  • 12V power sockets 2 x rear, 1 x luggage compartment (additional 1 X double USB adaptor with 2A charging current)
  • Armrest - front and rear integrated door trim, centre console includes storage compartment, rear centre includes 2 cupholders
  • Height and length electric adjustment steering column

  • Ambient interior lighting with 11 pre-defined selectable light designs including 6 colours
  • Front and rear footwell lights
  • Front and rear reading lights

  • Connected package professional - M5
  • Expanded exterior mirror pack - M5
  • Parking assistant plus pack - M5

  • Crash sensor activating central locking release, hazard warning lights, fuel cut off and interior lighting
  • Airbags - driver/front passenger, rear and side, first and second row seats head airbags, front passenger seat airbag deactivation + knee airbag
  • Tyre pressure indicator
  • Seat belts front inertia reel with pyrotechnical belt latch tensioner, belt force limiter and belt restrainer
  • Deformation zones - front and rear with door reinforcements and bumpers up to 2.5 mph
  • M Seatbelts
  • Side impact protection
  • Driver/Passenger airbags (Impact dependent)
  • Warning triangle and first aid kit
  • Two tone horn
  • Three inertia reel rear seatbelts

  • Child seat ISOFIX attachment with rear outer seats includes top tether
  • Driver and front passenger lumbar support
  • Electric seat adjustment with memory
  • Headrests for all seats
  • M multifunctional sport seats driver and front passenger with comfort electric height adjust headrests and illuminated M5 logo headrests

  • Alarm system (Thatcham 1) with remote control and electronic engine immobiliser
  • Locking wheel bolts
  • Comfort access system with smart opener

  • Rear biased M specific xDrive setup
  • Eight speed M Steptronic sport transmission with drivelogic and gearshift paddle switches on steering wheel includes launch control

  • Tyre repair kit

  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Low: 404
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Medium: 245
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - High: 210
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Extra High: 239
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Comb: 255
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Low - Min: 401
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Low - Max: 405
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Medium - Min: 244
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Medium - Max: 248
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - High - Min: 209
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - High - Max: 212
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Extra High - Min: 238
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Extra High - Max: 242
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Comb - Max: 255
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Comb - Min: 252
  • Standard Euro Emissions: EURO 6
  • HC+NOx: N
  • Particles: N

  • Cylinders: 8
  • Cylinder Layout: V8
  • Number of Valves: 32
  • Camshaft: DOHC
  • Fuel Delivery: TWIN TURBO
  • Catalytic Convertor: True
  • Engine Layout: NORTH SOUTH
  • Compression Ratio: 10.0:1
  • Transmission: SEMI-AUTO
  • Gears: 8 SPEED
  • Engine Code: S63B44T4
  • Cylinders - Bore (mm): 89
  • Cylinders - Stroke (mm): 88.3
  • CC: 4395

  • EC Directive 1999/100/EC Applies: False
  • WLTP - MPG - Low: 15.9
  • WLTP - MPG - Medium: 26.2
  • WLTP - MPG - High: 30.7
  • WLTP - MPG - Extra High: 26.9
  • WLTP - MPG - Comb: 25.2
  • WLTP - MPG - Low - Min: 16
  • WLTP - MPG - Low - Max: 15.9
  • WLTP - MPG - Medium - Min: 26.2
  • WLTP - MPG - Medium - Max: 25.9
  • WLTP - MPG - High - Min: 30.7
  • WLTP - MPG - High - Max: 30.4
  • WLTP - MPG - Extra High - Min: 26.9
  • WLTP - MPG - Extra High - Max: 26.4
  • WLTP - MPG - Comb - Min: 25.4
  • WLTP - MPG - Comb - Max: 25.2
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Low: 17.8
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Medium: 10.8
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - High: 9.2
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Extra High: 10.5
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Comb: 11.2
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Low - Min: 17.7
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Low - Max: 17.8
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Medium - Min: 10.8
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Medium - Max: 10.9
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - High - Min: 9.2
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - High - Max: 9.3
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Extra High - Min: 10.5
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Extra High - Max: 10.7
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Comb - Min: 11.1
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Comb - Max: 11.2

  • Generation Mark: 7
  • Alternative Fuel Qualifying: False
  • Timing Belt Interval Mileage: N
  • Timing Belt Interval Frequency - Months: N
  • NCAP Adult Occupant Protection %: N
  • NCAP Child Occupant Protection %: N
  • NCAP Pedestrian Protection %: N
  • NCAP Safety Assist %: N
  • NCAP Overall Rating - Effective February 09: N
  • Badge Power: 625
  • Badge Engine CC: 4.4
  • Vehicle Homologation Class: M1
  • Special Edition: False
  • Special Order: False
  • Based On ID: N
  • Insurance Group 1 - 50 Effective January 07: 48E
  • Did at least one aspect of this vehicle's safety give cause for concern?: False
  • Coin Series: M5 Competition
  • Coin Description: N

  • Engine Power - BHP: 625
  • Engine Power - PS: True
  • 0 to 60 mph (secs): False
  • 0 to 62 mph (secs): 3.3
  • Top Speed: 155
  • Engine Power - KW: 460
  • Engine Power - RPM: 6000
  • Engine Torque - LBS.FT: 553
  • Engine Torque - NM: 750
  • Engine Torque - RPM: 1800
  • Engine Torque - MKG: 76.5

  • Emissions Test Cycle: WLTP
  • RDE Certification Level: RDE 2

  • Tyre Size Rear: 285/35 R20
  • Tyre Size Spare: TYRE REPAIR KIT
  • Wheel Type: 20" ALLOY
  • Tyre Size Front: 275/35 R20
  • Alloys?: True
  • Space Saver?: False
  • Wheel Style: Y SPOKE - 789 M

  • Width (including mirrors): 2126
  • Height: 1469
  • Height (including roof rails): N
  • Length: 4983
  • Width: 1903
  • Wheelbase: 2982

  • Minimum Kerbweight: 1895
  • Gross Vehicle Weight: 2440
  • Fuel Tank Capacity (Litres): 68
  • Luggage Capacity (Seats Up): 530
  • No. of Seats: 5
  • Max. Towing Weight - Braked: 2000
  • Max. Towing Weight - Unbraked: 750
  • Max. Loading Weight: 545
  • Max. Roof Load: 100
  • Luggage Capacity (Seats Down): N
  • Turning Circle - Kerb to Kerb: 12.6

  • M Compound brake in high gloss red: Included
  • M Compound brake in high gloss blue: £0
  • M Compound brake in high gloss black: £0
  • M Carbon ceramic brakes: £0

  • Speed limiting function: Included
  • Cruise control with brake function: Included

  • Fine wood fineline ridge interior trim with pearl chrome highlight trim finishers: £0
  • Aluminium carbon structure interior trim finishers with pearl chrome highlight trim finishers: Included
  • BMW Individual piano finish black trim finisher: £560
  • Dark aluminium carbon structure interior trim finishers with dark chrome highlight trim finishers: £560

  • TV function plus including digital reception with CI+ card reader, operation by iDrive Touch controller and integral roof aerial: £0
  • Harman/Kardon surround sound system: Included
  • Rear seat entertainment - Professional: £0
  • Bowers & Wilkins diamond surround sound system: £0

  • Metallic paint: Included
  • Solid paint: £0
  • BMW Individual Metallic paint: £1,095
  • BMW Individual high gloss shadow line includes exterior mirror frame, window frame surround, B pillar finish, air breather in high gloss black: £0
  • BMW individual lights shadow line: £0

  • BMW Laserlights with LED indicators in eyebrow styling and cornering LED light: £0
  • Adaptive LED Headlights: Included

  • Full Merino leather upholstery: Included
  • BMW Individual full merino leather upholstery: £0
  • Steering wheel heating: £0
  • Soft close function for doors: £0
  • Full Merino leather upholstery with contrast stitching: £0
  • BMW Individual headliner anthracite alcantara: Included

  • M Pro pack - M5: £7,995
  • Driving assistant professional pack when bought with Donington grey - M5: £0
  • Technology plus pack when bought with Donington grey - M5: £4,995
  • M Drivers pack - M5: £0
  • Ambient air pack - M5: £0
  • BMW Individual high gloss shadow line with extended contents pack - M5: Included
  • Comfort plus pack - M5: £2,495
  • Driving assistant professional pack - M5: £0
  • Entertainment pack - M5: £2,995
  • Technology plus pack - M5: £4,995
  • Visibility pack - M5: £1,000
  • Driving assistant pack - M5: Included

  • Metallic - Donington grey: £0
  • Metallic - Blue stone: £0
  • Metallic - Black sapphire: £0
  • Metallic - Snapper rocks blue: £0
  • Metallic - Marina Bay blue: £0
  • Metallic - Brands hatch grey: £0
  • Metallic - Motegi red: £0

  • Solid - Alpine white: £0

  • BMW Individual metallic paint - Alvite grey: £1,095
  • BMW Individual metallic paint - Tanzanite blue: £1,095
  • BMW Individual metallic paint - Aventurine red: £1,095

  • Front and rear seat heating: £0
  • Active front seat ventilation: £0
  • Massage function for front seats: £0
  • Driver and front passenger seat heating: Included

  • Trailer tow hitch: £995

  • Full merino leather - Aragon brown/Black: £0
  • Full Merino leather - Black/black: £0
  • Full Merino leather - Silverstone/black: £0
  • BMW individual full Merino leather - Smoke white/Black: £0
  • BMW individual full Merino leather - Tartufo/Black: £0
  • Full Merino leather - Black with Midrand beige contrast stitching: £0

  • 20" M double spoke light alloy wheels with mixed tyres in bicolour finish - style 810M: £0
  • 20" M double spoke light alloy wheels with mixed tyres in jet black finish - style 706M: £0
  • 20" M Y-spoke light alloy wheels with mixed tyres in bicolour finish - style 789M: Included

Whilst every effort is made to verify and ensure the accuracy of the data, the information should only be used as a guide and no purchasing decision should be made without verification of the data from either the manufacturer or franchised dealer. Our offers may be on a different model year to that represented by this data and so specification may differ accordingly.

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