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The new BMW M5 Competition gets fancy new dampers

Facelifted super-saloon pinches its big brother’s suspension. Still nutjob quick

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This is the new, freshly facelifted BMW M5 Competition. The range-topping version of the definitive batsh*t fast BMW saloon. Looks the same, yes, but there are new things.

Chief among which is the addition of a brand-new set of dampers; BMW says the new M5 Comp “benefits from experience gained in the development of the new BMW M8 Competition Gran Coupe”.

Naturally said dampers get modes: Comfort, Sport and Sport+, dialling up the madness which each successive click of the controller. Sport is said to reduce wheel and body movements to better create an interface between thine own self and road, while Sport+ “maximises dynamic performance on smooth asphalt such as race tracks”. Quite why you’d need to take a near two-tonne saloon onto a track is… obvious, surely. You need to test the new suspension. In rear-drive only mode. Using all the revs. 

So, better body control, and coilover suspension that allows a drop in ride height of between 5mm and 20mm. The M5 Comp gets bespoke engine mounts too – they’re stronger – which means fewer structural losses. Or something.

And said mounts will be earning their crust reining in a 4.4-litre turbo V8, here producing 616bhp and 553lb ft of torque. It’s the same power and torque as the last M5 Comp, and thus boasts the same nutjob acceleration numbers: 0-62mph takes just 3.3s (a tenth faster than a ‘regular’ M5), 0-124mph in 10.8s, and a top speed of 155mph (or 189mph if you spec the M Driver’s Pack). Still fast, then.

And it’s still matched to an eight-speed auto, and all-wheel-drive (dubbed M xDrive) with a rear-wheel-drive bias and an active M Diff. There’s also an ‘M Dynamic Mode’ that allows “controlled drifts and entertaining handling”, and of course the ability to switch it into 2WD mode, “for the traditional BMW M5 rear-wheel drive experience”. Coooool.

M Sport exhaust? Check. M Compound brakes? Check. M badges dotted all over the body? Very check. The Comp gets a black surround for the kidney grille, a revised front apron, adaptive LED lights, a new rear apron with a large diffuser, and some Competition badging.

There’s a choice of colours and a new wheel option, while inside the central display is larger – now 12.3in – complete with a pair of buttons like the M8’s that give direct access to some system settings. Like M Mode, which again means you can choose between Road, Sport and Track settings, and an individual setup button.

Confused by this myriad of settings and potential setups? Let’s keep it simple. This is a £98,095 version of BMW’s definitive sports saloon, now with fancy new dampers, M Mode and a new display. This, or an E63?

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