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2021 BMW M5 revealed – Competition coming to Aus in October

John Law

BMW has revealed an updated M5 super sedan promised to land in Australia by October this year. The revised exterior design reflects the face-lifted 2021 5 Series, while BMW has tweaked the chassis and promises a 0-100 sprint of 3.3 seconds.

Just a few years ago that kind of acceleration was reserved for hypercars – in fact, BMW’s super sedan is faster than a Ferrari Enzo to 100km/h by 0.3 seconds.

The M Division’s illustrious back-catalogue of super sedans have always been the most driver-focussed options available, but in recent years the Mercedes-AMG E63 S and Audi RS6 have closed the gap. 

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The Updated M5 Competition sedan.

Of course, there are now hyper SUVs like Bavaria’s own X5 M and X6 M Competition muddying the waters of choice, but here at Chasing Cars, we’d take the low-slung M5 Competition every day.

Under the bonnet is the same 4.4-litre twin-turbocharged V8 found in other BMW M cars, including the aforementioned hyper SUVs and M8 Competition. In M5 Competition guise outputs are 460kW and 750Nm, identical to the current M5.

Sure it will be quick to 100km/h, but BMW claims the M5 Competition will continue to 200km/h in just 10.8 seconds before topping out at 305km/h, not that we’d recommend trying those figures out on the public road.

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We reckon it looks mean.

Handling the power is an eight-speed torque converter automatic gearbox from ZF, that’s then sent to all four wheels via BMW’s xDrive system. However, BMW does give the option to disable drive to the front axle entirely for M5 smoke-shows. 

While the exterior is familiar, BMW is quick to point out the larger kidney grilles (did they need to be bigger though?), thinner headlights borrowed from the updated 5 Series, more sculpted rear lights and the beefed-up M specific bumpers.

Adding credentials for the M5 Competition, the M division has implemented a carbon fibre reinforced roof, aluminium bonnet and bespoke M mirrors. It looks pretty mean in photos, especially in the Motegi Red metallic hue pictured.

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Some colour is welcome for the M5 range.

A well-designed set of 20-inch forged alloy wheels are shod in big rubber – 275 width front, 285 rear – and accommodate a set of six-piston front callipers finished in your choice of red or blue.

Optional carbon-ceramic brakes can be fitted and stand up better to hard track use, they also look awesome with gold callipers and, the cherry on top, save 23 kilograms of unsprung mass. Currently a $16,500 option, they will cost a pretty penny.

More than skin deep, BMW has refined chassis characteristics for the 2021 M5 Competition, it sits 7mm lower than the regular M5, and for 2021 benefits from a damper upgrade to units borrowed from the four-door M8 Competition Gran Coupe.

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Updated and slicker LED lighting

Inside the M5 Competition is a familiar sight, the girthy M steering wheel hosts M1 and M2 buttons which allow for instant drive-mode customisation. This includes steering weight, xDrive settings, traction control, engine response and damper settings.

For 2021 the M5 Competition also sees a dedicated Track mode. Selecting this means the centre display turns off, music silenced, and the car chooses the optimum settings for suspension and stability control.

Further refinements inside the M5 Competition include an updated M specific head-up display, larger 12.3-inch central touchscreen and refined graphics for the digital cockpit, though we’d still prefer analogue dials.

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The interior – familiar but bigger.

All Australian M5 Competition models will be highly specified inside with Merino leather-appointed heated and electrically adjustable M specific seats. They’re pictured here in conservative black, though the dual-tone tan and black seats will be available.

While exact Australian specification is locked in yet, though our market will only receive the more honed Competition examples. Expect the M5 Competition to start north of $230,000 before on-road costs, with customer cars arriving in October.