For the M5, that means a new standard 12.3-inch touchscreen infotainment display, BMW’s new cloud-based navigation setup, new headlights, and new taillights. There are a number of M5-specific changes, too. On the inside, the three buttons to change the settings for the damping, steering, and throttle response are gone. Instead, they’ve been moved to the infotainment display. Some of you might miss the physical controls, but BMW says it’s more intuitive. We’ll find out for sure when we get our hands on one. On the outside, the M5 gets a freshly redesigned rear diffuser and larger grille and front bumper intakes to help cool the sedan’s twin-turbocharged V-8 engine.
While power outputs for the V-8 haven’t changed, the M5 Competition variant does get a slightly wider torque band, slathering 553 lb-ft of torque over the 1,800-5,860-rpm section of the tachometer, a 170-rpm increase in the peak torque spectrum; its 617 horsepower at 6,000 rpm is unchanged. The base car continues to deliver 600 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 553 lb-ft of torque from 1,800 rpm to 5,690 rpm.
BMW says the M5 and M5 Competition still accelerate from 0-60 mph in 3.2 and 3.1 seconds. Those figures are likely to again be conservative; a 2018 BMW M5 we tested reached 60 mph in only 3.0 seconds. The Competition figures to do the deed in under three seconds.
The standard M5 rolls on 19 x 9.5-inch front and 19 x 10.5-inch rear wheels; track widths measure 275/40 up front and 285/40 at the rear. The Competition gets slightly bigger wheels, but the tires are the same width. It sits on 20 x 9.5-inch wheels on the front axle and 20 x 10.5-inch wheels out back. As before, steel brakes are standard and carbon ceramics are a (very expensive) option. BMW has fettled with the shock absorbers on both M5s, crediting the tuning with better ride quality.
As was the case previously, the M5 Competition’s chassis setup includes increased negative camber, a stiffer anti-roll bar, and 10 percent stiffer springs up front to help with turn in and stability. BMW say these are the same suspension components found on the M8 Gran Coupe Competition. The Competition car also gets a new track mode for 2021; BMW says it’s for use on tracks only, and turns off all the electronic aids, safety systems, and even the infotainment displays so the driver can focus on carving up corners and not what’s coming out of the speakers. We suggest would-be hooners check their skills before selecting this drive mode, particularly if they do so on the street. Hey, 600-hp-plus isn’t anything to shake a stick at, people.
On the more mundane side of things, the 2021 M5 is available with a few new paint colors, such as Brands Hatch Grey Metallic, Motegi Red Metallic, Tanzanite Blue II Metallic, Individual Aventurin Red Metallic, and Frozen (matte in BMW speak) Bluestone Metallic. The rest of the paint colors carry over from 2020.
When it hits dealerships in August of this year, the 2021 M5 will start at $104,495. BMW didn’t say if the price for the M5 Competition has risen, but the current car starts at $110,995, and we think it’s safe to assume the price of the 2021 will be very close to that.