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Driven: BMW M5 Competition package

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Doing 240kph on a derestricted stretch on the autobahn does make a few things clear about this M5. One being, it is nowhere close to its top speed of 304kph, and secondly, this is a supercar disguised as an executive sedan.

This is no ordinary M5 either – I am pretty sure for some people the regular M5 was not bonkers enough. So BMW has gone ahead and introduced the Competition Package that comes with 15 extra horses, and as we mentioned earlier, the top speed has been bumped up to a ludicrous 304kph. Just to put that into perspective, the Ferrari F430 has a top speed of 308kph. The M5 Competition Package does the dash to 100kph in 4.2 sec (F430 does it in 4sec flat). What the M5 can also do, is carry four adults in complete luxury with their luggage tucked away in the 500-plus litre boot – and still achieve near-Ferrari performance numbers.

The twin-turbo V8 4.4-litre motor stays the same as the M5’s, but is now tuned to make 567bhp and 680Nm of torque that is channeled via a dual-clutch 7-speed transmission to the rear wheels. To cope with all the extra power, the differential has be recalibrated, and the suspension has also been lowered by a centimetre. You also get the option of carbon-ceramic disc brakes, which should be good if you intend to take the M5 for a weekend track trip.

Visually there are minor differences like the updated headlights, the tweaked grille that now gets an M5 badge and new taillight graphics. If you want to spot the difference between the M5 and the one that comes with the competition package, the job seriously gets all the more tedious. The only clear indication on the car we drove were the gold calipers on the ceramic disc brakes and black exhaust pipes. Inside, it looks similar to the older model, but the steering has been completely redesigned for better ergonomics and the paddle shifts look sleeker.

Tap the throttle and there is this instant surge of acceleration, the needle keeps climbing relentlessly, as my bottom keeps sinking a few millimetres into the seat. The steering response is sharp, but with all the electronic aid, lacks feel.

Putting all that power to the rear wheels is not easy either. The on board computer has to constantly make calculations on how to split the power between the rear wheels so trajectory is maintained. Sure, all these electronic aids are the reason the M5 gives those kind of performance figures; sadly it also takes away from the driving experience.

So though I found the engine potent enough on the M5, I did feel that the supersedan can’t get any more savage than this. Sure, it’s making a lot more power than ever before, but I do feel 567bhp is just about as much power an executive sedan can handle. Now, BMW, can we have something that concentrates more on driving dynamics than outright power?

The numbers
Twin-turbo 4,395cc V8, 567bhp, 680Nm, petrol, 7-speed dual-clutch transmission, RWD, 0-100kph: 4.2sec, max speed: 304kph

The verdict
Spits out more power than your average M5, but overall performance is still the same. Still not sure if it warrants for the competition pack, especially if you keep it away from the race track.

Rating: 7/10

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