Words: Calvin Chan
Published: June 19, 2020
BMW took a fine-toothed comb and raked a slightly new face for the 2021 BMW M5. That includes new headlights that mimic the 3 Series, a slightly more aggressive front grill, larger front and rear aprons, and sharper taillights to seal the deal. You will also notice high-gloss black accents adorning every crevice, along with new available paint colours, including this Motegi Red featured in the press photographs.
Inside carries with it the same aesthetics but with upgraded tech. The center display is now larger, measuring 12.3-inches for a better widescreen effect, and there are two new buttons on the center console for easier access to system settings and readouts on the head-up display.
But the biggest news is the axing of the “base” M5, if you can even call it that. 2021 models will only be available in the full beans Competition trim, meaning 617-hp and 553 lb-ft from its 4.4-litre twin-turbo V8. Power hasn’t changed, which isn’t exactly a bad thing. When we drove the M5 Competition last year, we did not complain once about its output rating, nor did we ever get bored of its hair-splitting acceleration from 0-100 km/h in 3.3 seconds, a number encroaching into supercar territory.
All-wheel drive is still standard fare, carrying the ability to disconnect the front axle for some sideways fun. But a brand new feature is Track Mode, which disables everything that might distract you from carving the perfect apex, including the audio system, center display, and driver assistance features.
The 2021 BMW M5 Competition will reach Canadian dealers later this summer, with prices starting at $121,000. Full press release attached below.
BMW Group Canada is pleased to introduce the 2021 BMW M5 Competition Sedan.
Like the other models in the recently introduced 2021 BMW 5 Series line-up, the new BMW M5 Competition sports an updated, new-look BMW kidney grille. The LED headlights and LED rear lights also have a sharper appearance, while the front apron – with its large air intakes – and the rear apron have been sculpted to even more dramatic effect. Inside the cabin, the larger central touchscreen display immediately catches the eye.
In addition to these features, the BMW M5 Competition comes with black styling details underlining its elite status. The BMW kidney grille surround, the mesh on the M gills, the exterior mirror caps and the additional rear spoiler on the boot lid all have a High-gloss Black finish, and the rear apron includes Black inserts. Black M5 Competition badges adorn the kidney grille, the gills and the boot lid, while the door sill plates are illuminated. The tailpipes of the standard M Sport exhaust system are finished in Black Chrome.
The large centre air intake is hexagonal in shape and incorporates the oil cooler along with the radar sensor for the Active Cruise Control (ACC) system. The new L‑shaped light tubes searing in narrow streaks towards the kidney grille add a dynamic flourish to the newly designed LED headlights,
Dynamic new exterior colours.
BMW M5 Competition customers can choose from a total of five new paint finishes. Brands Hatch Grey and Motegi Red metallic can now be specified, while the BMW Individual selecction of paint finishes adds Tanzanite Blue II, Adventurine Red II metallic and the matt finish Frozen Bluestone metallic. Finally, the Champagne Quartz metallic finish has been renamed Alvit Grey metallic.
Larger Central Display and new operating concept
The introduction of a new operating concept and a larger central display with a diagonal of 12.3 inches mean the cabin of the new BMW M5 Competition is more driver-centric than ever. Two new buttons on the centre console – like those found in the BMW M8 – provide more direct access to system settings and the various readouts in the instrument cluster and Head‑Up Display. At the press of the M Mode button, the driver can toggle swiftly between the ROAD and SPORT settings, while keeping the M Mode button pressed, and confirming the prompt in the central display, engages TRACK mode.
High-revving 4.4-litre V8 wth BMW TwinPower Technology
The heartbeat of the BMW M5 Competition continues to be the latest-generation a 4.4-litre, twin-turbocharged V8 engine with an output of 617 hp at 6,000 rpm and peak torque of 553 lb-ft on tap between 1,800 and 5,860 rpm. The BMW M5 Competiton sprints from 0 – 100 km/h in 3.3 seconds and 0 – 100 km in 10.8 seconds, with a top speed of 250 km/h – or 305 km/h with the optional M Driver’s Package specified.
Oil supply system designed for track driving.
The V8 engine utilises optimised turbochargers and maximum injection pressure of 350 bar. This allows shorter injection times and improved atomisation of fuel, for faster engine response as well as more efficient mixture preparation. Improvements have also been made to lubrication and cooling, including an oil pan with a small front sump and an indirect charge air cooling system, which is extremely effective despite taking up little space. The oil supply system uses a fully variable, map-controlled pump and has been designed for outings on the race track, where it can handle very high levels of longitudinal and lateral acceleration.
Flap-controlled exhaust systems deliver a high-impact soundtrack.
The flap-controlled dual-branch M Sport exhaust system of the BMW M5 Competition develops and extremely distinctive and sporting exhaust note. The M Sound Control button enables its soundtrack to be varied via the different engine modes, with the option of selecting a more understated engine note to soften the vehicle’s acoustic presence.
Eight-speed M Steptronic transmission with Drivelogic.
The Drivelogic rocker switch on the gear selector allows three modes for efficient, sporty or dynamically intense track driving with extremely rapid gearshifts. The driver can use both the selector lever and the shift paddles on the steering wheel to take control of gear changes manually. In manual mode, they can also execute sporty multiple downshifts to the lowest available gear, for instance when braking into tight corners. And there are no automatic upshifts when the engine is revved to the limit. A transmission oil cooler ensures the transmission works flawlessly and with moderate operating temperatures, even when the car is put through its paces on the track.
Undiluted M feeling in TRACK mode.
The BMW M5 Competition model’s TRACK mode is designed exclusively for use on race circuits and deactivates all the comfort and safety functions of the driver assistance systems. To focus the driver’s attention even more intently on the road ahead, the audio system is also muted and the central display switched off. The result is a racing-car-inspired, ultra-pure distillation of M feeling. The instrument cluster switches to M View while the Head‑Up Display dispenses with readouts from the driver assistance systems. Automatic activation of the hazard warning lights in response to emergency braking is suppressed and the collision warning system is also deactivated. Pressing the M Mode button again exits TRACK mode and returns to the ROAD setting.
M xDrive with rear-wheel bias ensures exceptional agility.
The M5 Competition engine’s torque is distributed between the front and rear wheels seamlessly and fully variably by means of the transfer case’s electronically controlled multi-plate clutch, before the Active M Differential splits it again between the two rear wheels, as required. The rear-wheel-biased setup of M xDrive imbues the BMW M5 Competiton with standout agility. The driver can vary the distribution of power between front and rear wheels and also adjust the responses of the Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) system. M Dynamic Mode (MDM) holds the key to controlled drifts and particularly playful handling, and offers another three modes (with DSC deactivated) which have been optimised for track driving: as well as 4WD and 4WD Sport, drivers also have the choice of 2WD mode for pure rear-wheel drive.
Configurable dampers and steering.
The BMW M5 Competition has a specially tuned and even stiffer chassis, and now also benefits from experience gained in the development of the new BMW M8 Gran Coupé, whose shock absorbers have been carried over. The electronically controlled Variable Damper Control (VDC) offers three driving modes – COMFORT, SPORT and SPORT+.
COMFORT mode focuses on a broad-based everyday usability combined with typical M dynamics. SPORT mode, meanwhile, reduces wheel and body movements to create more direct contact with the road, while retaining a substantial comfort profile, while SPORT+ mode maximizes dynamic performance on smooth asphalt, with wheel and body movements minimised.
Similarly, the M Servotronic steering gives drivers the choice of COMFORT mode for greater ease of use and lightness for in-town driving while SPORT mode provides enhanced steering feeback tailored to more sporting driving;
Performance-oriented suspension enhancements and 20-inch wheels.
In addition to ride height reduction of seven mllimetres on the BMW M5 Competition, suspension enhancements include increased camber at the front axle to handle higher lateral forces in corners. Fitting the toe links with ball joints instead of rubber mounts results in even more precise wheel contorl at the rear axle. And the rear anti-roll bar also has a firmer spring rate, giving body roll in high-speed corners a more pronounced rear bias. The modified mounting for the front-axle anti-roll bar combines with ten per cent stiffer springs at the front and rear axles to produce a firmer ride, making for more precise steering response. Additionally, shorter auxiliary springs reduce fluctuation in wheel loads.
The BMW M5 Competition is fitted as standard with forged, bi-colour, 20-inch M light-alloy wheels in Y-spoke design (front: 9.5 J x 20, rear: 10.5 J x 20) and mixed-size tires (front: 275/35 R 20, rear: 285/35 R 20).
M Compound brakes fitted as standard.
The BMW M5 Competition is equipped as standard with M Compound brakes with perforated, inner-vented brake discs and six-piston fixed calipers at the front and single-piston floating-calipers brakes with integrated parking brake at the rear. Calipers are finished in High-gloss Blue, with High-gloss Black and High-gloss Red as options.
The optional M Carbon ceramic brakes with six-piston fixed calipers at the front and single-piston floating calipers at the rear provide a significant reduction to unsprung weight, being some 23 kg lighter. The M Carbon ceramic brakes are recognisable by their gold-coloured calipers with M logo and provide increased braking performance over M Compound brakes, along with improved fade resistance, higher thermal stability and enhanced wear characteristics.
Advanced Driver Assistance Systems
The 2021 BMW M5 Competition is equipped with standard Assist features designed to deliver Lane Departure Warning with steering intervention, Frontal collision and pedestrian warning with braking function, Blind Spot Detection, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Rear Collision Prevention, and Speed limit information.
Optional on on the BMW M5 Competition is Driving Assistant Professional which adds Active Cruise Control with Stop & Go, Extended Traffic Jam Assist for limited access highways – a Level 2 autonomous assist system which helps to reduce fatigue in stop and go freeway traffic by allowing for extended hands free vehicle operation, Lane Keeping Assistant with side collision avoidance, Evasion Aid, Front Cross-Traffic Alert, and Emergency Stop Assistant – which can help guide your BMW to the shoulder and bring it to a halt in a medical emergency situation.
As part of the standard Live Cockpit Professional, the Navigation system is enhanced with 3D visualizations of the surrounding area, depicting all of the cars, trucks and motorcycles registered by the cameras and sensors in the driver’s current lane as well as those in any adjacent lanes. They are shown in the central section of the instrument display. Vehicles within a critical distance are highlighted. Graphics indicate maneuvers which can be carried out with the help of the assistance systems. This ensures the driver has an overview of the situation and relevant courses of action at all times. If route guidance is activated, the screen also shows a panel with navigation instructions above the 3D view.
The Navigation has also been improved with a new digital cloud-based feature called BMW Maps. The benefits are faster route calculations and dynamic recalculation based on precise real-time traffic data. The route is worked out using an anticipatory approach, meaning upcoming traffic along the entire route is factored into the calculation of the expected arrival time. Complete traffic data is now available for more minor roads, too. Hazard warnings transmitted online from the BMW fleet now reach the car even faster thanks to connected navigation. These improvements help to produce a very accurate estimate of arrival time and improved route guidance. The destination input function has also been improved and now lets the driver enter any word. Alternatively, the destination can be entered at any time simply by voice control. Plus, points of interest (POIs) along the route are described in greater detail, with reviews, opening times and photos.
The optional Parking Assistant Plus includes a panorama view and 3D surround camera views to assist with parking. The system helps identify suitable parallel and perpendicular parking spots and can guide your 5 Series into and out of your selected spot. The included Back-Up Assistant records the last 50 metres driven at speeds below 35 km/h and can automatically reverse your 5 Series along the exact path take to help navigate narrow or winding driveways for example. The Remote 3D View function gives drivers the ability to call up a three-dimensional live image of their parked vehicle and its immediate vicinity on their smartphone.
The Drive Recorder, a new feature to the BMW M5 Competiton, uses the cameras of the various driver assistance systems to record video footage from different points around the vehicle, before storing the recordings so they can be either watched later on the Control Display when the car is stationary or exported via the USB port
The new 2021 BMW M5 Competiton also offers the latest version of BMW’s Intelligent Personal Assistant to help interact with your car in a more natural way. Activated by a spoken prompt, such as “Hey BMW” or at the touch of a button, this digital companion learns the way you communicate to provide better and more accurate responses. Naturally spoken instructions can now also be used to open and close the car’s windows (partially or fully) or adjust the air conditioning. In addition, the driver can set rules by which the BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant learns routines that increase convenience in specific situations. For instance, the driver’s window could be opened automatically when the vehicle reaches a chosen location entered using GPS coordinates, such as the entrance to a garage.