2021 BMW M5 Competition Sedan 21

2021 BMW M5: High-Performance 5-Series is Better Than Ever

  • The 2021 BMW M5 packs a mighty punch with its turbocharged V8.
  • xDrive is standard along with BMW’s Intelligent Personal Assistant.
  • BMW will do the global market launch of the 2021 M5 in August.

In my mind, the last great BMW M5 is the E39 model from 1998 to 2003. Conceived before the Bangle era of V10-powered M5s, the third-gen E39 represented the pinnacle of luxury-sport sedans, with particular emphasis on ‘sport.’ And while we all love the refreshed 2021 BMW 5-Series, it’s hard not to notice the changing of the guard.

You see, the 5-Series (along with the M5) had a growth spurt from the fifth-gen E60 (which spawned the fourth-gen E60 M5) to the F10. Along with the bigger size came a new set of priorities. As it turns out, luxury gained a foothold over sportiness, but every succeeding generation of the M5 seeks to restore the balance in favor of ‘sport.’

And hence the reason for our excitement in unveiling the refreshed 2021 BMW F90 M5. Based on the newly-minted 2021 5-Series, BMW is also bringing in the M5 Competition to ruffle the tailfeathers of Audi’s RS7 Sportback and new Mercedes-AMG E 63 S.

If Looks Could Kill

BMW updated the 5-Series to keep it fresh amongst the competition. Naturally, the new M5 is mirroring the changes with a larger kidney grille, redesigned front and rear bumpers, and slimmer lighting elements. The new M5 is also home to an updated rear diffuser along with M-specific quad tailpipes to distinguish it further from a regular 5-Series.

The M5 Competition has similar design cues, albeit with blacked-out elements including black mirror caps, a subtle black rear spoiler, black chrome exhaust tips, and a darkened grille surround. The new M5 is equipped with 19-inch alloys while the M5 competition makes do with 20-inch wheels.

Peering through those gorgeous alloys are standard M compound brakes with vented discs and blue-painted six-piston calipers. BMW’s M Carbon Ceramic brakes with gold calipers are optional (they are 50 lbs. lighter).

2021 BMW M5 Competition Sedan ( European model shown).
2021 BMW M5 Competition Sedan (European model shown). The on-board Active M Differential can split torque between the left and right rear wheels. Photo: BMW of North America, LLC.

What Engine Does The 2021 BMW M5 Have?

The 2021 BMW M5 has a 4.4-liter twin-turbocharged V8 pumping out 600 horsepower and 553 lb-ft. of torque. What’s more impressive is how the engine shoves maximum torque from lower engine speeds, specifically from 1,800 to 5,690 rpm. Meanwhile, the M5 Competition has 617 horsepower while producing the same amount of torque on a broader band, topping out at 5,860 rpm.

Both the M5 and M5 Competition employ an eight-speed M Steptronic automatic gearbox with three gear modes: Efficient, Sport, and Track. Power is transferred to all four wheels courtesy of BMW’s M xDrive AWD system, which, too, has its own set of driving modes: 4WD, 4WD Sport, and 2WD. Yes, the new BMW M5’s AWD system allows the driver to disconnect the front axle to enjoy some tire-burning, license-revoking, tail-happy driving action.

2021 BMW M5 Competition Sedan under the hood.
2021 BMW M5 Competition Sedan under the hood. The engine features two-turbochargers, cross-bank exhaust manifolds, direct injection, and upgraded cooling and oil supply systems. The cross-bank exhaust manifolds improve turbocharger and throttle response by reducing the distance the exhaust gases need to flow to reach the turbochargers. Water-to-air intercooling helps reduce the temperature of the incoming air for improved power. Photo: BMW of North America, LLC.

Is It Fast?

You bet! The new BMW M5 rockets to 60 mph in 3.2 seconds and has a top speed of 155 mph. But if you choose the optional M Driver’s Package, you can extend the speed limit to 190 mph. If that’s not fast enough, the M5 Competition breaches 60 mph from a standstill in 3.1 seconds.

What’s The M Mode Button?

In the 2021 BMW M5 and M5 Competition, the M Mode button replaces the confusing task of manually configuring the engine, suspension, chassis, steering, and xDrive system. Derived from the BMW M8, the new M Mode button toggles between two settings (three for the M5 competition): Default, Sport, and Track mode.

Revised Interior: From Sedan to Spaceship!

Similar to the new 5-Series sedan, the 2021 BMW M5 is home to a fresh set of larger touchscreens. Coupled with BMW’s Live Cockpit Professional powered by iDrive 7, the M5 has two 12.3-inch displays for the instrument console and infotainment system along with standard navigation (which utilizes live traffic data) and Apple CarPlay/Android Auto connectivity.

However, the M5 also comes with BMW’s Intelligent Personal Assistant, a feature that our Managing Editor Carl Anthony gleefully describes as taking the 5 Series from sedan to spaceship. How so? The darn thing can adjust the climate control or roll down the windows using voice prompts, for crying out loud!

Without a doubt, the BMW M5 is a hardcore version of a standard 5 Series, but it remains a luxury car to the core. As such, the cabin is resplendent in genuine Merino leather upholstery, Alcantara, and a choice between aluminum-carbon or wood trim.

As expected, the 2021 BMW M5 is brimming with standard luxury features. The list includes ambient lighting, power and heated front seats, a heated steering wheel, four-zone climate control, a rearview camera with park distance control, auto-dimming rearview and side mirrors, a power tailgate, and adaptive LED headlights with automatic high beams.

2021 BMW M5 Competition Sedan interior layout.
2021 BMW M5 Competition Sedan interior layout. Photo: BMW of North America, LLC.

Safe & Sound

The 2021 BMW M5 comes with blind-spot detection, lane departure warning, frontal collision assist, pedestrian warning, rear cross-traffic alert, and a rear collision preparation system. The Driving Assistance Professional Package is optional and includes more features like active cruise control with stop & go functionality, extended traffic jam assist, and a lane-keeping assistant with side collision avoidance.

2021 BMW M5: Pricing & Availability

The 2021 BMW M5 has a base price of $104,995 (including the $995 destination charge), while the M5 Competition starts at $112,095. The global market launch is scheduled this August with the first deliveries arriving near the end of 2020.

Alvin Reyes is the Associate Editor of Automoblog. He studied civil aviation, aeronautics, and accountancy in his younger years and is still very much smitten to his former Lancer GSR and Galant SS. He also likes fried chicken, music, and herbal medicine. 

2021 BMW M5 Competition Gallery

Photos & Source: BMW of North America, LLC.

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