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Driven: BMW M5 Competition blasts in

New $229,900 BOCs M5 Competition to carry on BMW’s super-sedan sales success

BMW logo7 Nov 2018

BMW Australia’s new M5 Competition, which replaces the Launch Edition of the sixth-generation super-sedan introduced locally just seven months ago, is expected to continue the strong sales momentum of the 5 Series flagship.
 
Though BMW Australia 5 Series product manager Howard Lam would not be drawn on sales expectations, he told GoAuto that the Bavarian brand had already taken a number of orders for the new M5 Competition.
 
“In terms of pre-orders, what we see is at the moment … it’s a fair amount, I couldn’t quote numbers for you and we remain highly positive of the M5 Competition,” he said.
 
“I couldn’t tell you if our allocation has been exhausted at this point in time … but if you were to walk into a dealership now … you typically order two months in advance of production, so you’d be looking at January production that would arrive around about in March.”
 
Only 50 units of the pre-Competition M5 were imported for local consumption, all of which “sold out very, very quickly”, according to Mr Lam.
 
The previous-generation M5 was the first BMW model to introduce the Competition moniker in 2014 globally, offered as a package that increases engine power and tweaks the suspension, but locally the nameplate was available as a standalone variant. 
 
In previous-generation form, nearly 40 per cent of buyers opted for the Competition upgrade, which has led BMW Australia to offer the new M5 in the single, more powerful and highly specified variant.
 
“Australians love power, and in this segment there’s no need for a base M5,” Mr Lam said. “We want to offer to customers the best possible product in this segment, hence the M5 Competition.” 
 
As for whether the new-generation M5 will gain a cheaper Pure grade like its predecessor, and its M2, M3 and M4 siblings, Mr Lam said the business case is being still being studied.
 
“Never say never, we are always continuously having a look at our product and reviewing what’s right for the market,” he said.
 
“We have an edition strategy that focuses on editions such as Pure, so that’s always being assessed after market and customer feedback.”
 
As previously reported, BMW’s new flagship 5 Series sedan gains an extra 19kW of power by increasing boost pressure from the twin-turbocharged 4.4-litre petrol V8.
 
Peak power now hits 460kW at 6000rpm and maximum torque of 750Nm (unchanged) is available from 1800-5860rpm, the latter 260rpm higher than before.
 
Matched to an eight-speed torque-converter automatic transmission and a rear-biased xDrive all-wheel-drive system, the M5 Competition can accelerate from zero to 100km/h in just 3.3 seconds – 0.3s quicker than the outgoing M5.
 
Fuel consumption is pegged at 10.6 litres per 100km, 0.1L/100km thirstier than before, while carbon dioxide emissions are rated at 242 grams per kilometre, up 1g/km.
 
Priced at $229,900 plus on-road costs, the M5 Competition is also $30,000 more expensive than the regular M5, but justifies its premium not only with more power, but more equipment too.
 
Standard features include a 16-speaker Bowers and Wilkins Diamond surround-sound system, M Carbon engine cover, soft-close doors, electronically controlled rear roller blind, manual sunblinds for rear occupants and four-zone climate control.
 
Other mechanical changes include a 7mm lower ride height, increased negative camber in the front wheels for improved mid-corner grip and revised spring rates in an effort to reduce understeer.
 
To scrub speed, the M5 Competition is fitted with six-piston callipers up front and single-pot rears, biting onto vented rotors. If that’s not enough, buyers can spend an extra $16,500 for carbon-ceramic brakes.
 
Twenty-inch wheels are standard in a choice of three different designs, while tyre spec is 275/35 up front and 285/35 at the rear.
 
Other mechanical changes include an M Sport exhaust system which can be toggled fully open with the press of a specific button.
 
Apart from the mechanical changes, the M5 Competition can easily be identified by its body-colour doorhandles, variant-specific badging and carbon-fibre roof, as well as gloss-black finishes to the front grille, exterior mirror caps, front fender gills, window lines and rear apron.
 
Inside, occupants are treated to electronically controlled front sport seats, specific ‘M Competition’ start-up graphic, keyless entry, red start button, colour head-up display and M5 door sills, as well as three driving modes – Comfort, Sport and Sport Plus – and two M mode buttons on the steering wheel.
 
For drift fans, the M5 Competition is also able to switch to rear-drive mode to send all output to the rear axle.
 
Infotainment is handled by a 10.25-inch touchscreen unit that features satellite navigation, digital radio and Bluetooth connectivity, but Apple CarPlay and wireless smartphone charging are optional extras costing $623 and $200 respectively.
 
An electric sunroof can also be fitted as a no-cost option for those who enjoy open-air motoring, as can a heated steering wheel ($500), smoker’s package ($90), front and rear cooled seats ($1500), front and rear heated seats ($700) and M Driver’s Package ($2250) that increases top speed from 250km/h to 305km/h.

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