2021 BMW M5 and M5 Competition Get Updated Tech, Will Reach 190 MPH

  • BMW is updating the M5 and M5 Competition for the 2021 model year, and they’ll get the same recent changes as the 2021 5-series sedan.
  • The 2021 M5 and M5 Competition are powered by a twin-turbocharged 4.4-liter V-8 that produces 600 horsepower in the standard M5 and 617 horsepower in the M5 Competition.
  • Pricing starts at $104,495 for the standard M5, while the Competition model costs $111,095. They’ll arrive to U.S. dealerships in August.

When it comes to four-door sedans with supercar performance, we think of the BMW M5 as the segment’s godfather. Launched in the mid-1980s, the original M5 shoehorned the M1 engine into a regular 5-series for a top speed approaching and, without a catalytic converter, exceeding 150 mph. Now in its sixth generation, the current M5 enters the second half of its life cycle.

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BMW

For the 2021 model year, the M5, and the even more powerful M5 Competition, mirror the changes to the standard 5-series sedan—and add a few performance upgrades, too. There is a new and larger 12.3-inch touchscreen display to the right of the instrument cluster, the cloud-based navigation system works faster and better, and the infotainment system now features Android Auto capability while also keeping Apple CarPlay functionality.

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But the M5 is equipped with the S63 4.4-liter V-8, and in the standard M5 it produces 600 horsepower, served up at 6000 rpm, while the M5 Competition gets an additional 17 horsepower. Maximum torque is identical at 553 lb-ft. This translates to some impressive performance figures: BMW claims that the standard M5’s sprint from zero to 60 mph takes 3.2 seconds, while the Competition version does it in 3.1 seconds. Top speed for both versions is governed at 155 mph or an optional 190 mph. The remarkably low drag coefficient—just 0.31 for the Competition model—would likely allow the car to exceed 200 mph easily, if only BMW would let it.

The M5 and M5 Competition continue to be fitted with an obligatory eight-speed torque-converter-type automatic transmission. All-wheel drive is standard as well, but the driver has the option of disconnecting the front axle to achieve an oversteering behavior. Simply put, they’ll be able to get sideways. However, BMW strongly encourages drivers to use this setting in a controlled environment only. Unique to the Competition version is a new Track mode, which disables not only all nanny-like driving assistance systems, but also the hi-fi system and the central information display. Its driving mode logic is informed by the M8.

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BMW

New head- and taillights and redesigned front and rear bumpers, as well as the sharp-edged front grille, lend an angular appearance to the new M5. However the M jet-fighter aesthetic is decidedly more F-117 than F-16. A few colors inside and out round out the improved package.

The 2021 M5 and M5 Competition are slated to arrive in the U.S. in August with a starting price of $104,495 for the standard model and $111,095 for the Competition. These prices put them close to the cost of the Audi RS7 and the Mercedes-AMG E63 S. We suspect the segment’s godfather will continue to do well.

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