Emma Jayne Williams

BMW cranks up the M5 sedan for 2019 with Competition performance package

For model year 2019, BMW took the popular Competition package for M models and made a new standalone model within the segment, starting with the M5 Competition.

This model adds extra power and sportiness, raising the bar for performance, agility and precision. M5 Competition has a model-specific tuned suspension and engine mounts, a TwinPower Turbo engine producing 617 horsepower (up from 600), and a top speed of 189 mph with a special M Driver’s package ($2,500).

The most powerful BMW M5 sedan ever, the Competition delivers a driving experience with motorsport undertones, with sharper responses and enhanced chassis tuning. The base M5 is priced at $102,700, with the M5 Competition adding $7,300 ($110,000).

M5 Competition had the high-revving 4.4-liter M TwinPower V-8 developed for the standard M5, with meticulous retuning for optimum torque and power delivery. This retuning results in a zero-60 mph time of just 3.1seconds, and a zero-124 mph mark of 10.8 seconds – 0.3 seconds faster than the base M5.

Standard M xDrive all-wheel-drive and eight-speed M Steptronic transmission – specifically designed for extreme performance – are carried over. Launch control is an electronic aid to assist in rapid acceleration from a standing start.

Three driving modes offer a choice of efficient, sporty or ultra-high-performance driving, selected using a Drivelogic switch on the shifter. Manual shifting is possible with the shifter or paddles on the steering wheel. The M5 Competition has a specially designed transmission oil cooler for when the car is being pushed to the limit on the track.

Competition’s model-specific exhaust is designed for quick turbocharger response, while special tuning produces a distinctive sound with a sportier tone, especially in Sport Plus mode. It is also possible to vary the engine’s aural character quickly to a more understated sound using an M Sound Control button on the console (with an illustration of dual pipes). Black chrome tailpipe pairs nestle into the left and right of the rear apron.

Rear-wheel biased M xDrive intelligent all-wheel drive provides just enough extra traction to achieve super-sport acceleration. The driver can program individual power-distribution configurations with the press of a button to influence how drive torque is distributed between front and rear axles.

Three modes with Dynamic Stability Control deactivated are geared toward track driving – 4WD and 4WD Sport mode, as well as pure rear-wheel drive.

My BMW M5 Competition was Marina Bay Blue metallic (royal), one of seven standard exteriors colors. Five premium/individual exterior colors are available for $1,950 each. The interior was Silverstone extended leather, one of three standard colors offered in two kinds of leather. Three premium/individual color choices are offered in an Executive Package for $4,000. The headliner was really soft Anthracite Alcantara.

The Competition’s distinctive exterior includes high-gloss black Shadow Line trim on the door handles, mirror bases, triangles and caps, and the mesh in the signature M gills set in the front flanks. The BMW kidney grille, the rear spoiler, the “M5” trunk lid badge (with Competition lettering), and the rear bumper cover feature high-gloss black trim. Door windows and the B-pillar also featured high-gloss Shadow Line trim.

Specially developed 20-inch light-alloy wheels with a Y-spoke design in silver and black, wearing staggered tires (wider in the rear) contributed to Competition’s performance capabilities and added to the model’s exclusive looks.

A standard BMW mobility kit included a powerful compressor and special tire sealant to repair minor damage until a permanent replacement can be made.

The interior was impressive, with model-specific black seatbelts featuring longitudinal red and blue stripes, and floor mats with model-specific piping plus a red and blue “M5” logo.

The steering wheel was stitched with the same red and blue, and the shifter was trimmed in red with a red and blue “M” logo. When the car was started, a distinctive “M Competition” graphic appeared in the instrument cluster.

Interior trim is available in three standard styles and two premium styles, which add $1,080. My Competition had dark Aluminum Carbon Structure on the doors, across the dash, and on the center console. Dark gloss aluminum trimmed the vents, center stack and door handles.

Twenty-way power front seats (included in the Executive package) had thigh extensions, heat, ventilation, massage, and an illuminated M5 logo in the headrest. A contrasting black insert extended from the headrest to the seat cushion in the front and rear. Rear seatbacks folded 40/20/40, the middle section acting as a pass through from the trunk as needed.

A Bowers and Wilkins sound system ($3,400) had unmistakable sparkling silver Fibonacci design speaker grilles, adding a touch of class to the interior. SiriusXM radio is standard, with a one-year All Access trial subscription.

My M5 had Apple CarPlay compatibility with a one-year trial, Enhanced Bluetooth and USB (included in the Executive package) with hands-free calling, phone book access, pairing for two phones, USB connection for iOS devices and access to music stored on a phone, music streaming, album cover art, and office for sending/reading SMS, calendar, tasks, and notes. A Wi-Fi hotspot was standard.

BMW navigation had a 10.2-inch touch screen, natural voice control, gesture control, and traffic info. An M-specific full-color head up display showed road signs, current gear selection, and a rev counter with shift lights.

Standard Advanced Real Time Traffic Information offers a faster connection and uses multiple sources for the latest precise traffic reports (updated every three minutes) to make sure you avoid tie-ups.

The optional Executive package brought soft-close automatic doors, manual rear side sunshades (including one for the small accessory window), front and rear heated seats, four-zone climate control, parking assistant plus (finds a parking space – right or left, parallel or perpendicular – steers the vehicle into the spot), wireless charging (a cubby in the center console), active park-distance control (detects the distance to vehicles or objects, then sounds a warning, which beeps faster the closer the vehicle gets), and surround view with 3-D view (images from four cameras – top view/3-D next to each other, driver can select from side, rear and top view, ranging freely among them).

A Driving Assistance Plus package ($1,700) included the Active Driving Assistant contents (active blind-spot detection, lane-departure warning, daytime pedestrian protection, frontal collision warning with city collision mitigation, speed limit info and rear cross-traffic alert, and adds active cruise control with stop and go, active lane-keep assist with side-collision avoidance, traffic-jam assistant, evasion aid, and front cross-traffic alert.

BMW Active Protection is ConnectedDrive occupant protection system – seatbelts are pretensioned when the vehicle is moving and, in case of a critical situation such as an emergency stop, the front passenger seatback is returned to the upright position and side windows are closed. The system can even automatically stop the vehicle in certain situations, to minimize or mitigate damage from a collision.

An Attentiveness Assistant monitored steering responses and irregular driving behavior and a notification suggesting that the driver take a break appeared in the central display.

M carbon-ceramic brakes ($8,500) provided outstanding stopping, lower weight, greater extreme thermal stability, and excellent resistance to wear.

For the enthusiast, the M Driver’s package includes a day-long, high-speed track experience in South Carolina or California, as well as the elevated top speed mentioned above.

An available M lap-timer app with GoPro integration records speed, forward acceleration, RPM, gear selection and more, and analyzes the data to help the driver adjust for better track performance, When the lap timer is started, a connected GoPro camera records the action.

BMW M5 Competition is essentially a street-legal race car, fun to drive and comfortable enough for everyday driving, including family hauling and even cargo, with folding rear seatbacks to expand the 19-cubic foot trunk, and a hands-free power trunk lid (opens, but does not close).

A gas guzzler tax of $1,000 (EPA estimate 14 mpg city/21 highway/17 combined), destination charges of $995, and $20,100 in options brought the delivered price of my exciting M5 Competition to $132,095.

The automotive columns of Emma Jayne Williams have appeared regularly in the Star-Telegram since 2007. Contact her at emmajayne1948@gmail.com.