BMW M5 Competition
Engine 4395cc, twin-turbo V8, 625bhp, 750Nm Performance 0–100kph in 3.3secs, 249kph, 11.5L/100km, 261g/km CO2 Weight 1865kg The Competition version of the M5 doesn’t replace the vanilla M5 but augments it. Standard one vanilla? Hardly: not with its 600bhp and AWD propensity for omni-road monstering. But here’s an extra 25bhp anyway. You’d be right to point out that while 25 ponies would make a notable difference to a Twingo, it’s going to be hard to feel them in an M5 where they represent merely a four per cent supplement. Indeed. The engine is just the same: they expected all along they’d be doing this, so it needed no re-engineering. That said, the exhaust is louder, more E63 AMG if you will.
To make sure the Competition is worth considering, it’s also got a lowered, stiffened chassis and altered front camber. Beware: that does make it rougher on not-good surfaces. But when the road (or track) is smooth, it’s sharper than ever. Still a big car, mind, and doesn’t feel at all as agile as an M4, never mind the marvellously nippy M2 (see left). But once you’ve nursed that V8-weighted nose into a corner, what follows can do quite remarkable things. In the M modes it’ll even slide its rear end about a fair bit, even in the 4WD configuration. PAUL HORRELL