For more than two decades, the BMW M5 has had a reputation for being one of the best high-performance four-door sedans in the world. When the first M5 was launched way back in the mid-1980s, it was powered by one of BMW’s famous straight-six engines; the 3.5-litre unit produced around 280bhp, which was pretty impressive for the ’80s.
Over the years, the M5 has gotten bigger, both in terms of size and weight, as well as in terms of engine capacity and power. What hasn’t changed, however, is the extreme levels of performance that the car offers. An entire generation of fans has grown up watching Fifth Gear and Top Gear videos on YouTube of the M5 being tested on the tracks by the likes of Tiff Needell, Chris Harris and The Stig power-drifting the car at high speeds. The word spectacular is barely enough to describe the M5’s abilities.
BMW has now launched the newest (facelifted, 2021-spec) M5 Competition in the local market. The car is powered by a turbocharged 4.4-litre V8 that makes 625 horsepower and 750Nm of torque. With power being meted out via an 8-speed automatic transmission, zero to 100kph comes up in just 3.3 seconds, and the top speed is a stratospheric 300kph. The all-wheel-drive, active differential and adaptive suspension are well up to the task of controlling the tremendous power and speed.
While the M5 Competition is a road-rocket that’s constantly straining at the leash, it is also ultra-luxurious. And so you get bits like a 4-zone climate control system, leather upholstery, power-adjustable front seats, roller sun-blinds for the side windows at the rear, a 16-speaker Harman Kardon sound system and more. In terms of safety and driver assistance, there’s ABS, traction control, stability control, multiple airbags, parking sensors, rear-view camera, fully customisable digital instrumentation and voice control for the infotainment system.
‘The M badge is for those who enjoy high performance and superior level of excellence. With the new BMW M5 Competition, we are strengthening our performance portfolio in India. The new M5 Competition is designed and engineered to offer unmatched performance and blends a business sedan’s everyday usability with unbeatable sports car dynamics,’ says Vikram Pawah, President, BMW Group India.
The new BMW M5 has to contend with a few fellow German rivals in India. These include the Audi RS7, the Mercedes-AMG GT 63 S, which offer similar performance and luxury. And there’s the Porsche Panamera Turbo, which hardly needs any introduction and ranks right up there in the list of the world’s best high-performance four-door luxury sedans.
With an ex-showroom price tag of Rs 1.62 crore, the M5 isn’t for everyone. But if you can afford to buy one, the car is worth every single rupee.