The revised 2014 BMW M5 comes with just small updates on the exterior and the interior, but it offers one of the greatest addition of the past few years: a new Competition Package that adds an extra 15 horsepower under the hood.
Next to the extra power the M5 equipped with the Competition Package is offering an extensively tuned chassis set-up. It gets new coil springs and damper calibrations and stiffened anti-sway bars that have lowered the car’s ride by 10 mm (0.39 inches). Thank to these updates the car’s cornering dynamics and tractability have been improved, and the 0 to 60 mph sprint time was reduced by 0.1 seconds.
The package is also offering unique 20-inch M light-alloy wheels, a sport exhaust system featuring M quad tailpipes finished in Black Chrome and re-mapped M Dynamic Mode (MDM) of DSC (Dynamic Stability Control).
The new BMW M5 Competition Package will go on sale on the U.S. market in August 2013. The package will add another $7,300 to the M5’s starting price of $90,900.
Updated 03/18/2014: BMW finally unchained the new M5 Competition Package in a video that shows the car’s breathtaking power and precision. Enjoy!
Click past the jump to read more about the 2014 BMW M5 and to see a video of the M5 Competition Package in action on the Nürburgring
BMW M5 Competition Package Tackles the `Ring
The Competition package gives the M5 few minor upgrades over the ‘base’ M5. New seven-spoke 20-inch alloy wheels with painted grey accents, along with black-chrome exhaust tips help distinguish the car. Otherwise, the Competition M5 looks identical to other M5s. Neither car can be accused of being stale though, as the M5 got a makeover last year. A new twin-spoke kidney bean grille harks back to previous M5s while a new taillight design and optional HID headlights keep the design headed forward.
Inside, the M5 Competition stays the same as the regular M5. Like the exterior, the cabin benefits from last year’s upgrade. The new M sports steering wheel is new with a thinner center hub and skinny spokes holding out the thick rim. Chrome trim on the dash helps brighten things up. And lastly, a new touch pad surface on the iDrive knob is new and acts much like Audi’s system, letting the driver scroll easily through menu options.
Here’s where things get interesting. BMW’s twin-turbocharged 4.4-liter V-8 gets a 15 horsepower kick in the pants, making a total of 575. The extra power appears to be more a software update than anything, but the extra power is still welcomed. BMW hasn’t said anything about an increase in torque. The added horsepower does let the M5 Competition equipped with the sevens-speed M-DCT dual clutch transmission hit 62 mph in just 4.3 seconds. That represents a 0.1-second gain over the standard M5.
Besides the extra horses, the M5 Competition’s main updates center around its suspension upgrades. BMW starts by lowering the car roughly 10 millimeters and adds much stiffer bushings between the moving parts. New coil springs, thicker sway bars, and upgraded damper calibrations complete the hardware upgrades. Software wise, the Active M Differential gets unique programming for competition duty. Up front, the Servotronic variable assist steering gets upgraded to help the rack-and-pinion system respond more quickly and accurately. Lastly, the stability control system is recalibrated to allow for more aggressive driving with higher thresholds before the nannies step in.
If track duty is inevitable, BMW does offer carbon ceramic brakes for an additional $9,250.
Clicking the Competition box on the order sheet adds an additional $7,300 to the already-not-cheap ticket price of $92,900. And that doesn’t include the $925 destination fee or the $1,300 gas guzzler tax. Ouch.
Building the M5 our way includes the Competition package; the Executive package ($5,500) with power sunshades, driver HUD, 4-zone climate control, active front seats, auto-close doors, heated seats and steering wheel, and keyless access; the Driver Assistance Plus package ($1,900) that includes blind spot monitoring, exterior view cameras, and active driving assistant; and lastly the Lighting package ($1,900) which comes with adaptive full LED headlights and automatic high beam control. Add up the damages and the sticker jumps to $111,725.
The Cadillac CTS-V is a car that shouldn’t be slept on. While it doesn’t have the performance pedigree of BMW, this powerful beast and its 6.2-liter supercharged V-8 engine are nothing to sneeze at. It doesn’t come with the output of a BMW M5 fitted with a Competition Package, but with an output of 556 horsepower and a 0-60 mph of just 3.9 seconds, we’d say that the CTS-V can outpace the M5. Plus, it only retails a smidge under $65,000, which is always a good thing.
Gallery Cadillac CTS-V
Just like the CTS-V, the Jaguar XF-R doesnt boast the kind of popularity the BMW M5 can proudly say it has. But just like the CTS-V, popularity doesn’t mean much when you have a car that can back up its lofty boasts.
That’s something the XF-R has no problem dealing with, thanks in part to its supercharged 5.0-liter V-8 that delivers a total of 510 horsepower. It’s not as fast off the block as the M5 - 0-60 mph is at 4.7 seconds - but in terms of style and class, the XF-R can take out its claws and growl at the M5.
Gallery Jaguar XF-R
The M5 Competition package seems like a legitimate upgrade to the car’s handling abilities and overall power outputs. The $7,300 seems like a reasonable fee for not only the additional track-worthy equipment, but the added exclusivity as well. Taking the M5 to track days always seemed like a fun idea before, but now, it almost seems like a requirement of ownership. Meandering around town between home and the country club with all that pent-up potential lurking under all four fenders seems like a waste. We say, “buy it to run it.”
- Added power
- Retuned suspension
- Unique wheels and exhaust
- Not many cosmetic changes
- Additional cost on top of an already capable car
- Still slower than some of its competition
The Competition Package boosts output by 15 hp / 11 kW to 575 hp / 423 kW (preliminary) in the high-revving V-8 engine with M TwinPower turbo technology that powers the BMW M5, BMW M6 Coupe, BMW M6 Convertible and BMW M6 Gran Coupe models. At the same time, the developers at BMW M have extensively tuned the chassis set-up. Along with new coil springs and damper calibrations, anti-sway bars have also been stiffened. For the BMW M5, these adjustments have resulted in a lowering of the car by around 10 millimeters, which lowers the center of gravity (CG) and roll center. The potential inherent in the rear axle design – based on the race-derived principle of the rear axle subframe being rigidly bolted to the body – and the even more precisely calibrated bushings for the front axle are exploited with the Competition Package.
On all models except M6 Convertible, 0.1 seconds are shaved from the standstill to 100 km/h (0-62 mph) sprint time and 0.2 seconds from the zero to 200 km/h (0-124 mph) sprint. Cornering dynamics and tractability are also enhanced – something noticeable in everyday driving but best experienced on the race track. In particular in conjunction with the optional M Carbon Ceramic Brake system available on the M5 and M6, all the driving dynamics attributes associated with BMW M automobiles are experienced at the highest level.
The Active M Differential on the final drive – standard on all M5 and M6 models – receives a unique tune when the Competition Package is specified, resulting in further-improved traction. The new rack-and-pinion steering with the M-specific Servotronic variable assist function, moreover, has more-direct programming to enable firm and secure contact with the road while further increasing the agility of the vehicle during cornering.
Beyond these enhancements, the M chassis control system has been adapted to the Competition Package suspension profile. With the Competition Package, the M Dynamic Mode (MDM) of DSC (Dynamic Stability Control) is re-mapped for even sportier handling characteristics and higher thresholds of intervention. The Competition Package additionally includes unique 20-inch M light-alloy wheels along with a sport exhaust system featuring M quad tailpipes finished in Black Chrome that lend an unmistakable look and the sound to the car.