BMW M5 Competition

Meet the quickest car we have ever tested

Meet the quickest car we have ever tested. No, it’s not a Ferrari. Nor is it a Lambo or a Porsche – it’s a humble four-door family saloon! There’s nothing wrong with the stock M5, but Munich clearly decided that it was time to stop the bickering and hey pronto – here’s ‘Competition’ – right and ready to see off all-comers.

And not only did M5 Competition deliver our quickest-ever test, it is also the first car to ever break the 3-second 0-100km/h barrier on our run in an astounding 2.97 seconds. Competition also managed 160km/h in a mesmerising 6.6 seconds and blitzed the quarter-mile in another record 10.9 seconds at 208km/h!

That’s partially due to M powering M5 up from 441kW to 460kW, while torque remains the same 750Nm, albeit now spreading 200rpm higher than before courtesy of a small turbo boost hike, a reprogrammed ECU and revised sport exhaust. Add a larger grille for better cooling and a petrol particulate filter.

Subtle chassis improvements see it riding 7mm lower on a sportier toe and camber set-up, along with a stiffer rear anti-roll-bar and tauter engine mounts for better response through the driveline for more ‘competition’ feel, but in a harsher ride. Competition may defy its lightweight suggestion, but its 248kW per tonne power to weight ratio is ten up on the stock M5 thanks also to an M carbon roof and an aluminium bonnet. 

Set apart by black badging, a Competition logo and black grills, the ultimate M5 is shod with 20” M light alloy Y-spoke wheels to look quite the part too – and it packs all you would ever dream of in that sumptuous cockpit.

All very cool, but what about that price – is this really a two-million buck car? Made me wonder?

Until I plugged our VBox into it and Competition thrust me back in the seat, shoved my brain back into the cranium and my eyes aft in their sockets as the 460kW 2-ton monster blasted off the line to cannon down our test strip at record pace. Not only did it lift a crown so long the domain of Ferraris, Porsches and McLarens, but Competition is also the first car to ever break the 3-second mark on our run.

This performance also gives further credence to our long-held view that all-wheel drive is an absolute prerequisite at this heady level – this M5 is over a second quicker than the wild and scarcely controllable bucking bronco of a rear-wheel drive car it replaces. 

It will keep on delivering that sort of performance all day long too – just switch to bareback, floor the throttle and brake together, release the brake and it trundles on to deliver one sub-3 second 0-100 after the next, as though it was all quite normal! 

I can already hear you starting to grumble about it being a 2-million-Rand car. But there’s another side to it – what must you spend to get to 100km/h in a production car in under three seconds in South Africa? I’ll leave that one to you to figure out! 

ROAD TEST - BMW M5 Competition
Engine:          4395cc biturbo V8  
Output              460kW 750Nm
Drive:               8-speed auto AWD
0-60km/h               1.49 sec
0-100km/h:      2.95 sec 
0-160km/h:      6.61 sec  
0-200km/h             9.97 sec        
400m:              10.9 sec @ 208km/h     
80-120km/h:    1.87 sec
120-160km/h: 2.56 sec         
VMax:              305km/h  
Fuel:                10.8 l/100km               
CO2:                246g/km
Warranty/Service: 2y unl/5y 100K
List Price:        R2.062M
Rated                     95