The BMW M5 Competition Pack is the most powerful production car that BMW has ever made, with 567bhp sent to the rear wheels and a 0-62mph time of 4.2 seconds.
The new package is offered as an option for the revised M5 (as well as the M6), and costs £6,700 on top of the normal car’s £73,505 price. Along with a 15bhp increase in power, the maximum torque of 680Nm is available over a slightly wider spread of engine speeds.
However, the biggest changes are to the M5’s chassis. Springs, dampers and anti-roll bars have all been firmed up and the ride height is 10mm lower. To make better use of the new set-up, the active limited-slip rear differential has also been tweaked.
Select the M Dynamic mode, and the computers now allow you a little more slip before intervening, while the steering is more direct than before. Finally, there are unique 20-inch alloy wheels (available in silver and black), plus a louder sports exhaust system that can be identified by ‘black chrome’ tips.
Inside, there’s little to tell that the Competition Pack has been added, though all M5s now feature a slimmer three-spoke steering wheel, along with two M buttons for storing your favourite chassis configurations. At normal road speeds, the extra power isn’t obvious, but fortunately our test drive was conducted on the Estoril race circuit in Portugal, so we had a chance to stretch the car’s legs.
The car pushes slightly harder in the mid-range, and with a deeper bellow, but then the standard car’s defining characteristic is its ability to pick up virtually instantly in any gear.
What’s more marked is the improvement in high-speed body control. While the regular car is impressively composed and incredibly fast on a test track, it still feels big and heavy even in its sportiest settings. With the Competition Pack, there’s much less slack in the suspension and a more responsive feel when taking corners at speed.
Put simply, it’s more at home on track than the regular car. On a pebble-smooth circuit, it’s hard to say what the on-road compromises will be, but given the standard car has cruising ability and refinement to spare, it’s unlikely to be an issue.