2018 BMW M5 Competition Review

2018 BMW M5 Competition Track Test Review

BMW M5 Competition is an unusual vehicle in that it a full four seat sedan that cocoons its occupants in comfort, yet will top out at 300kmh and rocket from 0-100kmh in 3.3 seconds.

BMW has had a long and successful history with the ‘M’ versions of their vehicles. The ultimate extension is the M Competition models.

Launched last week, the M5 Competition adds a separate model (as does the M2 Competition) to the line-up of sports cars in the BMW range. I recently attended a track day with BMW at Eastern Creek Raceway to launch the M5 Competition.

BMW M5 Competition side


For me the BMW M5 Competition is a beautiful sedan. It is one of those cars that doesn’t have a bad angle. From any angle it looks long, low and sleek.

The bonnet slope culminates in the high gloss M specific kidney grill. The side profile is enhanced by the 20 inch alloy wheels, exterior mirror caps, as well as the signature M gills on the front flanks. In addition there is the BMW Individual high-gloss Shadow Line window surrounds and b-pillar trims.

From the rear there is high gloss black on the rear bumper cover, a rear spoiler, and M5 boot lid logo, which features ‘Competition’ lettering for the first time. Black chrome exhaust outlets complete the exterior theme.

BMW M5 Competition interior


The interior is as spacious as the standard 5 Series sedan. There just seemed to be a lot of room inside. However like the M2 Competition, I was pretty focussed on the driving aspect, rather than what was inside.

However there were a few highlights such as the ability for a 190cm tall man that is larger than the average bear to sit in comfort, with a helmet on and have adequate room.

I also sat in the back seat on a trip around the track and was comfortable as well. A reasonable amount of room all around for head, shoulder and knee.

M Multifunction seats are electrically adjustable and offer illuminated M5 badging, while the specific M multifunctional instrument display with ‘M5 Competition’ graphics provides an impressive array of driver-centric information.

M5 highlights are everywhere including, the black seat belts with striped BMW M GmbH stitching and piped floor mats with M5 logo.

Of course, a wide range of technologies seen in the luxurious 5 Series range are also present in the M5 Competition, including 10.25-inch Touch Control Display, a colour M Head-Up Display and semi-autonomous capability.

In front of the driver sits a typical BMW configuration, which means clean, functional and with excellent user interface. White on black instruments are present. A special touch is the ‘M Competition’ graphic that greets the driver when the start button is depressed.

BMW M5 Competition transmission


Reflecting the uplift in performance, the BMW M5 Competition also features improved standard specification over the already-impressive M5 Launch Edition.

In addition to the upgraded engine, drivetrain, suspension and electronic control components standard equipment now includes:

16-speaker Bowers and Wilkins Diamond surround sound system with 1400W output – M Carbon Engine Cover – Soft Close door function, front and rear – Electrically-controlled rear roller sunblind – Roller sunblinds for rear side windows – Automatic Air Conditioning with 4-Zone Control – Ambient Air Package – BMW Gesture Control – Specific 20-inch BMW M Y-spoke light alloy wheels, style 789 M with Bicolour finish

One feature that I’m sure many prospective buyers will take advantage of is the opportunity to individualise their purchase with M5 specific options. These allow buyers to reflect themselves more adequately.

The BMW M Driver’s Package is also available. This increases top speed from 250km/h to 305km/h and provides the owner with a BMW Driving Experience Advance 2 Course that is redeemable in Australia, Germany and the United States of America, South Africa or Sweden.

An Indulgence Package is also available, combining Massage function, TV function and Rear Seat Entertainment Professional (with two tiltable independent 10-inch high-res screens and blue-ray drive) into one $6,700* (including GST and LCT) bundle.

BMW M5 Competition engine

Drive and Engine

Powered by the existing 4.4-litre twin-turbocharged V8 from the M5, BMW M engineers have focused improvements with an emphasis on racetrack-ready performance.

This means that the M5 will produce power 460kW/750Nm.  @ 1,800 to 5,860rpm. What this does to not only race track driving but everyday driving is amazing.

The M5 will rocket from 0-100kmh in just 3.3 seconds, 200kmh in 10.8 seconds and top out at 305kmh with the optional M Drivers pack. This drives the M xDrive four wheel drive system through the M Steptronic eight-speed automatic transmission.

Three different transmission modes are enabled, with efficient, sporty or highly dynamic shift speeds and feel. Like the M5, the M5 Competition can be shifted manually via tactile, lightweight gearshift paddles located behind the steering wheel.

The combination of rear-biased, adjustable M xDrive and the rear Active M Differential ensures the BMW M5 Competition delivers the perfect blend of traction and engagement. Once more, the keen driver has the ability to switch the M5 to ‘2WD’ mode via the car’s iDrive system.

Australian fuel consumption is listed at 10.6L/100km, with CO2 at 242g/km.  A model-specific M Sport exhaust system is fitted as standard, and flows out of a cross-bank exhaust manifold which enables exceptional turbocharger response to throttle inputs.

The M5 Competition sits 7mm lower than the M5, while specific spring and damper tuning has been undertaken. The suspension design has allowed for increased negative camber on the front axle, while the rear suspension toe links are now attached via racing-style ball joints rather than rubber mounts.

M5 Competition employs low-weight M compound brakes as standard. M Carbon Ceramic discs are also available as an option, for the ultimate braking system. This system offers the carbon ceramic discs on the front and rear axles.


Obviously the BMW M5 Competition comes with all the usual standard safety features of the M5

Driving stability systems as standard:

  • DSC incl. ABS, ASC and M Dynamic Mode (MDM), can be switched off;
  • CBC (Cornering Brake Control),
  • DBC (Dynamic Brake Control),
  • Dry Braking function,
  • Start-Off Assistant,
  • Active M Differential,
  • DSC linked with M xDrive all-wheel drive

Safety equipment as standard:

  • airbags for driver and front passenger,
  • side airbags for driver and front passenger,
  • head airbags for front and rear seats,
  • three-point inertia-reel seatbelts on all seats with belt stopper,
  • belt latch tensioner and belt force limiter in the front,
  • crash-active front head restraints,
  • crash sensors, tyre pressure indicator


BMW M5 Competition is many things. Family saloon, grand tourer, sports car, track star, prestige and luxury transport and stylish.

The ability to drive at 200kmh plus, yet feel like you’re in a lounge chair watching Netflix is a stunning design achievement.

It’s almost impossible to find fault with this car, except that the nice people from BMW politely declined my offer of giving one a friendly home.

BMW M5 Competition rear

Also Look At:-

  • Porsche Panamera Turbo
  • Lexus GSF
  • Audi R5 7 Sportback
  • Jaguar XJR575

Good Bits 

  • Style and design
  • Performance
  • Pricing

Not so Good Bits:

  • Not owning one
  • Drive modes can take little getting used to
  • M2 Competition is better suited for track days

Facts and Figures: 2018 BMW M5 Competition

  • Engine: 4.4L V8 Twin Turbo Petrol producing 460kW/750Nm
  • Transmission: M Steptronic eight-speed automatic with xDrive
  • Safety: TBA
  • Warranty: 3 Years / Unlimited km Roadside Assist
  • Origin: Germany
  • Price: from $229,900 RRP*

*Includes GST and LCT but excluding statutory charges, dealer costs and dealer delivery. See your dealer for RDAP.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.