BMW M5 Competition: Driving the 617-hp Luxury Sedan

While the BMW M5 is an impressive car in its own right, BMW went ahead and upped the ante by releasing the M5 Competition. Competition is a more powerful version of the M5, and many agree that it is worth the extra cost. The car looks good, and its specifications are impressive, but how does it drive? Matt Farah of The Smoking Tire recently got behind the wheel to find out. See what he thought in the video below.

BMW M5 specifications

Based on the standard BMW M5, the Competition is fitted with a twin-turbo 4.4-liter V8 engine that produces 617 hp and 553 lb-ft and features a specifically calibrated eight-speed gearbox. This means the Competition has 17 hp more power than the standard M5.

With a weight of 4,276 lb, the Competition is also 26 lb lighter than the standard version thanks to carbon fiber roofing and other minor adjustments. Boasting a top speed of 165 mph, the car can go from zero to 60 mph in 2.8, completing a quarter-mile in less than 12 seconds.

The BMW M5 Competition features a selectable all-wheel-drive system. The one used in the video was fitted with the optional carbon-ceramic brakes whose front and rear measures 15.8-inches and 15.0-inches, respectively.

Competition’s driving experience

2018 BMW M5 Competition
2018 BMW M5 Competition | BMW

As the video shows, the M5 Competition’s characteristics are closer to a 7 Series than a traditional BMW 5 series. If BMW set out to make the M5 Competition a smooth, stealth vehicle, attached with handling prowess, then it achieved its intended goal. However, many still feel that the M5 could punch above its weight in terms of its intended application.

The one thing that stands out above almost everything else is the M5 Competition’s speed. For a vehicle weighing as much as the Competition does to hit 60 mph in under 3 seconds, it has to utilize its power effectively.

The Competition seems to accelerate harder the faster you go. The car is able to deliver its power in an extremely clinical fashion. A testament to the supercar motor the M5 Competition is fitted with.

The M5 shines when it’s out in big open spaces though some might say the PS4s Pirelli tires that the standard M5 is fitted with are slightly better than the Competition’s P Zero.

The Competition features electric steering which is sharp and as direct as many of the sporty electric systems currently are. The Competition’s comfort shock setting is also quite good, allowing the vehicle to deliver an extremely comfortable ride, providing you with isolation from the bumps on the road. This is impressive especially for a front-engine sport sedan which is normally characterized by a somewhat brutal ride.

2018 BMW M5 Competition
2018 BMW M5 Competition | BMW

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However, one of the drawbacks of the M5 Competition driving experience is the lack of feeling the ride offers the driver. While the vehicle’s electric power steering is part of the efficiency plan, it offers very little feel.

Another negative is the car’s throttle response delayed nature. On top of that, the car tends to get laggy below gear three, which means you will have to keep the revs high if you are in manual mode.

While the M5 Competition is fast, comfortable, refined, well-made, and features a ton of technology and driving assistance systems, the driving experience could be better. The vehicle lacks the confidence to negotiate corners rapidly and is also almost devoid of feel and communication.

While it gets the job done, it doesn’t seem keen on letting the driver in on how it is getting the job done. This takes away from the overall driving experience. However, the Competition is still a proper luxury car that will be sure to provide you with all the value you might be looking for from your sport sedan.