BMW M5 Competition by Pfaff BMWJun 16th, 2019
BMW’s M5, arguably the world’s original and still best executive performance car, has topped its class for over 30 years because of the breadth and depth of its ability. It just does everything exceptionally well, from ferrying you to work and back in exceptional comfort and luxury to shredding tires on the racetrack and keeping up in a straight line with so-called supercars whose scoops and vents make them look silly beside this four-door masterpiece.
The latest incarnation of the M5, especially in enhanced M5 Competition form, continues that exceptional lineage. Indeed, between the adjustments for steering, suspension, throttle response, transmission aggression, exhaust, and stability control, there are 324 driving personalities – and that’s before you dig deep and discover you can turn off the all-wheel drive in some modes. With 617 horsepower and 553 lb-ft on tap from its turbocharged 4.4-litre V8, you can tear a road to shreds maxing out each of its eight paddle-shifted gears, confident its brakes, suspension and tires can keep up – and then waft to work in an effortless, burbling cruise, flying incognito underneath the cloak of its restrained styling.
Of course, the most enthusiastic M fans will be more interested in the sporty side of the M5 Competition’s heritage, and this car, Pfaff BMW’s show car for July 2019’s BMW M Festival, shows what’s possible if you want an M5 with a bit more attitude, without compromising the full circle of its abilities.
While its striking M-themed “camouflage” wrap with M tri-colour stripes is probably the most obvious visual enhancement, this M5 is also wearing an M Performance front splitter in gloss carbon-fibre, an M Performance carbon rear spoiler, and carbon side sill extensions. A lower, wider stance comes thanks to an M Performance coil-over suspension kit and front and rear wheel spacers, and the quad big tailpipes are also enhanced by carbon finishers, hinting at the M Performance exhaust tucked under the rear diffusers.
The combined effect of the upgrades is a subtle but noticeable shift of the M5 Competition’s personality, in all its modes, in a sportier, edgier direction. Even when in full comfort mode, the lightweight titanium exhaust adds a racy, metallic zing to the engine note that, with its valves fully open, develops into a full-on war cry at high revs. Ride quality for this low-slung performance sedan on 20-inch Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tires remains exceptional, but the upgraded coil-overs tighten up the M5 Competition’s already-tight body control at speed. It also turns in just a little quicker and harder, and feels just a bit more stable in fast bends.
As for speed, with all that power erupting from under the hood, there was little left to be done, and the M5 Competition will leave its competition, and most so-called supercars, in the dust with the combination of its torque, quick-shifting transmission, and all-wheel drive delivering 100 km./h in 3.3 seconds.
On the inside, the M5 remains as comfortable, luxurious, and well-equipped as ever. The all-digital dashboard consolidates a ton of important information into an easy-to-read and navigate format while on the go; the iDrive infotainment system remains the best and most intuitive in the business, and the seats are long-haul comfortable, while sufficiently supportive for extreme track use, thanks to massive adjustable side bolsters alongside heating, cooling, and even a massage function. The Competition is distinguished by a couple of subtle touches, including a bright red starter button and tri-colour M stitching on the seatbelts.
In short, Pfaff BMW’s modifications take BMW’s ultimate performance sedan – a car that’s led its segment since the start – and simply make it that much more ultimate. You can see it for yourself in person at the dealership in Mississauga, or at BMW’s M Festival, July 13-14 at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park.