BMW M5 Competition Pack first drive review

BMW M5 Competition Pack first drive review

BMW adds speed to its legendary super saloon, but fails to add value or address the M5′s biggest shortcomings

This is BMW’s latest and greatest M5 super-saloon, which has received a series of tweaks for the 2014 model year.It has a new kidney grille design, some optional adaptive LED headlights, an updated colour palette, and new leathers and interior trims. And there’s an obligatory power hike and chassis tweak as part of the revision, of course – but only for those buyers who are willing to pay extra for it.BMW’s ‘competition package’ is a £6700 option available not just on the M5, but all three versions of the M6 (coupé, convertible and Gran Coupé) as well. It adds 15bhp to the top-end power delivery of the car’s twin-turbo V8 engine, doing nothing for mid-range torque and leaving official economy and emissions unaltered.But that’s enough to shave a tenth of a second off the car’s 0-62mph acceleration claim. This is now a two-tonne luxury BMW that’ll roar to that speed in just 4.2sec: faster than a Ferrari 360 Modena.Top speed remains electronically pegged at 155mph – which seems a bit odd for a competition-branded option on a car that would otherwise easily smash through the 200mph barrier. But there you go.Alongside the engine changes, the competition package brings with it new 20in rims, a firmed-up tune for the variably damped suspension, a new power steering calibration and more aggressive settings for the active M Differential.It doesn’t bring with it the one thing this car desperately needs if you’re going to fully deploy its power and weight on a circuit: better brakes. Standard M5 brakes have long been about as useful on track as chocolate crockery.In the case of the current car, they’ll fade within five full-pace laps – as our track testing has confirmed. You can upgrade to BMW’s carbon-ceramics, but only if you’re willing to spend another £7395.So even though items like Professional Multimedia nav, DAB radio and sports seats are standard, equipping this car to what we’d consider optimum equipment level makes it a £92k purchase. Which sounds like rather a lot for a go-faster 5-series, and which gives the car plenty to do to justify its place in the world.

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