As luxury automakers slice and dice their lineups into more and more variants of essentially the same vehicles, you wonder when the badge proliferation will stop. Not yet, as BMW shows with the new 2019 M5 Competition version of the M5 sedan. A quick summary of the highlights is that for just $7,400 more than the M5, the Competition adds 17 horsepower, shaves the BMW-estimated zero-to-60-mph time from 3.4 seconds to 3.1, has a louder exhaust system and gets its own wheel design.
The M5 Competition model will start at $110,995 including destination, versus $103,595 for the lesser M5 — and at these prices, maybe paying that much more for a little edge (and a higher-status badge) seems reasonable to get Bimmer bragging rights at your local Cars and Coffee. With either one, of course, you still can add several thousand dollars more for extras from carbon-ceramic brakes to fancier interior materials.
The new M5 on which the Competition is based already is an all-wheel-drive supercar that's both a departure from the previous M5 model and a car that can put a grin on your face on the track or the street — check out Cars.com's first driving impressions here.
The Competition essentially creates a more visible standalone model of the last-generation M5 with optional M Competition Package, which BMW says 40 percent of M5 buyers worldwide took. This adds to the new M model tier, along with the recently announced M2 Competition coupe, and BMW says that more standalone M Competition models are coming.
Here's everything the M5 Competition model adds over the regular M5:
- The twin-turbo 4.4-liter V-8 is tuned to 617 horsepower and has a slightly wider peak torque band. BMW says it will get to 124 mph from a standing start in 10.8 seconds, 0.3 second quicker than a standard M5. Like that model, it has the M eight-speed automatic and standard torque-distributing M xDrive all-wheel-drive system. The suspension and engine mounts have been tweaked to maximize handling behavior.
- A standard M Sport flap-controlled exhaust system with notes that vary by drive mode. There also is a "sound control" button that enables you to quickly mute the rumble to keep from waking the neighbor's baby.
- The new model also gets exterior design cues to identify it as the upscale Competition version, including its own 20-inch wheel design, a gloss-black finish on the door handles, side mirrors, rear spoiler, and grille and rear bumper trim. The exhaust tips are blackened chrome, and the M5 logo adds "Competition." Changes inside are limited to its own black seat belts with M blue, purple and red stripes, as well as special floormats and an M5 Competition graphic when the instrument display boots up.
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