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As to the headline, allow me to explain. I currently own a 2017 Porsche 911 Carrera 4S. So this suggestion is much like a bald guy making bald jokes; we're allowed to do that. As with my review of the Mercedes AMG E63 S, the point I'll make is that the driving experience one seeks in buying a 911 is now replicated in many forms. Thanks to seemingly unlimited horsepower and a bevy of performance technologies, everything from a station wagon to a hatchback to this redefinition of the four-door sedan offers an experience that was once exclusive to top sports cars.
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As the nameplate implies, the BMW M5 Competition is a factory-tuned version of the base M5, which was already a heavily tuned version of the 5-Series. When a luxury carmaker such as BMW endeavors to tune its base models, it inevitably seeks to balance comfort and performance. This is achieved through a spectrum of driving modes that change its handling character. My 911 simply has Sport and non-Sport. The M5 Competition, however, has so many different modes and such a dramatic range that you truly go from Dr. Jekyll to Mr. Hyde with a dozen other personalities in between.
There has been criticism that the range of driving modes goes too far. It is actually possible to select multiple modes for how the engine, transmission, steering, suspension and xDrive system behave. These modes include Efficient, Sport, Sport Plus, Ultra-Dynamic and more. Most driving video games that have fewer options. This would be a problem if BMW didn't add two red M buttons to the steering wheel, located at 9:00 and 3:00, which are activated with your respective thumbs. These trigger pre-programmed driving modes that you customize from all of the above options and save through the iDrive interface.
For example, the xDrive system features three modes. There's the everyday 4WD, but you can also choose 4WD Sport, which allows for limited wheel slip. This is what most would want on a track. In addition, you can choose to have the head-up display switch to performance mode, which gives you a tachometer along the top with the selected gear in the middle and MPH to the left. For some odd reason this also shows the posted speed limit...as if that's relevant. That aside, this is precisely the data you need on a track, and it encourages you keep your eyes up (as every race instructor will tell you, over and over again).
And then there's pure 2WD with zero traction control. (There is no option to have 2WD with traction control, because why would you?) This is what you want for smoky burnouts and drifting. Unlike the E63, which forces you through a series of checks and balances to get to 2WD (drift) mode, you can program one of the red buttons to get you there and back immediately. So you might have a section of your commute or a favorite stretch of road that calls for a specific type of performance and handling. Just program it to the M1 button. You might want to leave the idiot behind you at a stoplight in a cloud of rubber smoke. Just program that to the M2 button.
In addition to more horsepower, the M5 Competition features stiffer engine mounts, which helps to transfer power and corner more effectively while providing a more visceral feel of the engine inside the cabin. It is lowered by seven millimeters, but still offers a lot more clearance than a 911. And the suspension is both tighter and firmer than the base M5 to improve handling. So even in "Comfort" mode, the M5 Competition is still a rough ride on the under-maintained roads and freeways of American cities. But, again, you won't find another vehicle with as much Jekyll-to-Hyde, comfort-to-performance range than the 2019 BMW M5 Competition.
The base model starts at $110,000, but you'll quickly get into the $130,000 range with some key options. Price-wise, this is right in line with the Porsche 911 Carrera 4S. Which car you'd buy depends a lot on whether you need to haul passengers and luggage on a regular basis. Because the driving experiences and the feelings they elicit are evenly matched.
As a travel journalist for three decades, my articles have appeared in The New York Times, the Philadelphia Inquirer, BELLA NYC, US News & World Report and many other media outlets. When not on the ski slopes, I can usually be found enjoying afternoon tea.
I was born in the U.K. but moved to Norway in 2011 and haven't looked back. I run a website and podcast about Norway, authored the Moon Norway travel guidebook, and spend my free time touring the country to discover more about the people and places of this unique corner of the world. I write for Forbes with an outsider's inside perspective on Norway & Scandinavia.
Christopher Elliott is the founder of Elliott Advocacy, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that empowers consumers to solve their problems and helps those who can't. He's the author of numerous books on consumer advocacy and writes weekly columns for King Features Syndicate, USA Today, and the Washington Post. Elliott also publishes Elliott Confidential, a newsletter for consumers, and the Elliott Report, a consumer news site. If you have a consumer problem you can't solve, contact him directly through his advocacy website. You can also follow him on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn, or sign up for his daily newsletter.
Ask any gearhead which car encompasses all attributes, and more likely than not, they'll say the BWM M5. There have been six generations of the BMW M5 made thus far. The V8-powered E28 M5 started all the craze with its release in the mid-'80s since it had a top speed north of 150 mph, which was supercar territory at the time. Fast-forward to the mid-2000s and BMW grew tired of the V8 engine and wanted something more fruity. Therefore, E60 M5 inhabited a 500-hp V10 that beat underneath its hood. After that, BMW abandoned the idea of naturally delivered power and fitted a twin-turbocharged V8 to the next M5 called the F10 generation M5. BMW then perfected the engineering behind the twin-turbo V8 with the F10's successor, the F90 M5.
This is where we are at today. The current-generation M5 is available in three different trim levels; the base M5, the M5 Competition, and the M5 CS. Today we'll have a closer at the F90 BMW M5 Competition, and justify why this 2022 sports sedan is worth buying over a supercar.
At first glance, the BMW M5 Competition looks like any ordinary luxury sedan with some black accents all over. But, those who know what the BMW M5 is all about, know it couldn't be further from the truth.
Without any options, the BMW M5 Competition can reach a top speed of 155 mph. However, if you were to add the optional M Driver's pack into your configuration, the M5 Comp's top speed will increase to a ludicrous 190 mph. But just how fast is it in a straight line?
The BMW M5 Competition comes standard with what BMW called their xDrive system. Essentially, this is a highly customizable all-wheel-drive system. This fast four-door Beemer can reach 60 mph from a stop in just over 3 seconds.
Although all four wheels receive 617 hp, with the press of a button, you can summon all the power to solely the rear wheels. This turns the sports sedan into a burnout machine, as well as a drift missile.
With a 0-60 time of around 3 seconds, and a top speed reaching the 200 mph mark, you can bet the skin of your front teeth that the BMW M5 Competition is stepping on some supercars' toes. Take for example the Lamborghini Huracan.
The Italian-built exotic supercar can reach 60 mph from a stationary position once 3.2 seconds have elapsed. That's just 0.1 seconds quicker than the BMW M5 Comp, and since the Huracan is rear-wheel-drive, its time will be inconsistent.
If you were to buy a brand spanking new BMW M5 Competition, you'd have a $120,000-sized dent in your wallet. Sure, that might be expensive, but hold your horses. You can pick up a used pre-facelift F90 M5 Competition for just a fraction of that without sacrificing any power.
Take a look at this 2019 BMW M5 Competition we found for sale on CarGurus. It's still powered by the same 617-hp twin-turbo V8 engine found in the facelifted model, the only difference is, this used one costs just a smidgen over $70,000. Take for example an older, more volatile supercar like the Porsche Carrera GT. The Porsche supercar can reach 60 mph from a dig in 3.5 seconds and has a top speed of 205 mph; however, they sometimes sell for seven figures on auction sites. 041b061a72