BMW M5 M5 Competition 4dr DCT
The headline is a slightly comfier slant for the suspension, borrowed from the M8 Gran Coupe. Essentially, it brings the softer edge of the old, 'regular' M5 to the quicker M5 Competition. If you’re unduly worried it’s become a big luxo-barge, rest assured there are new engine mounts, for better keeping that massive twin-turbo V8 in check (and thus improving body control by infinitesimal amounts).
It remains a sports saloon with absurd composure. Less of an unruly hot rod than a Mercedes-AMG E63, it’s like a DFS showpiece lounge that’ll crack 62mph at supercar speed. Its xDrive is achingly clever, too, and even on track we suspect you’ll rarely feel the need to switch everything to ESC-off, two-wheel drive ‘danger mode’. Keep the YouTube karma gods at bay, switch to 4WD Sport, and enjoy the amusingly rear-led balance of a car that shrugs off its size and weight admirably.
Flipping heck, is it quick. You’ll rarely be able to use full throttle for long, and if you’re manually flapping through its eight rapid-change gears, you’ll be wise to tackle everything a cog higher than your heart desires just to quell the warp speed that accompanies you slingshotting out from each apex. The engine noise is fairly muffled inside the cabin – especially if you've not pushed those enticing red M buttons – so big numbers really will creep onto the speedometer with bafflingly little effort.
Much as they do in an E63, mind. The pair are still incredibly hard to split but the BMW remains the more rounded, comfy car; TV screens for rear passengers are a simple options box tick away and that suspension setup in Comfort mode allows big distances to be covered with all the ease of a base-spec 530d on the smallest possible wheels.
It covers all bases with a staggering depth of engineering and might well be the most complete sports saloon ever. To an enthusiast, though, such completeness can be a help and a hindrance. The Merc is less couth (read: louder), bigger hearted and encourages its driver to be more playful.
Spec that M Driver’s Pack with the 190mph increased top speed, though, and BMW will throw in a voucher for a ‘one-day BMW M race track training evening’ that should help you get the most from your new 616bhp monster.
At first glance the CS badge might not seem to fit a four door saloon that weighs 1,825kg and sends 626bhp to all four wheels, but the gold-trimmed four-seater is a masterpiece of BMW engineering. Click here for more.
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