2019 BMW M5 Competition is a 617-hp strike at Mercedes-AMG
BMW's legendary sport sedan gears up for battle with more power, quicker responses and a more menacing bark.
Chris PaukertFormer executive editor / Cars
Following stints in TV news production and as a record company publicist, Chris spent most of his career in automotive publishing. Mentored by Automobile Magazine founder David E. Davis Jr., Paukert succeeded Davis as editor-in-chief of Winding Road, a pioneering e-mag, before serving as Autoblog's executive editor from 2008 to 2015.
Chris is a Webby and Telly award-winning video producer and has served on the jury of the North American Car and Truck of the Year awards. He joined the CNET team in 2015, bringing a small cache of odd, underappreciated cars with him.
High-power SUVs have been enjoying their moment in the spotlight for a few years. But the battle for Autobahn supremacy among today's crop of premium super sedans continues unabated, and at a furious pace. The latest salvo? This 2019 BMW M5 Competition Sedan.
Building on the reveal of the recent M2 Competition Coupe, the M5 Competition, unveiled on Tuesday, sharpens up BMW's hottest 5 Series model with added power, revamped suspension tuning, tweaked looks and a throatier voice.
A new set of markedly stiffened engine mounts promises better throttle response. And the Competition model's 4.4-liter, twin-turbo V8 has been retuned to deliver 617 horsepower at 6,000 rpm (an increase of 17 hp), and 553 pound-feet of torque from 1,800 rpm (the latter figure is the same as the standard M5).
That modest power bump helps knock a tenth off the 0-60 mph sprint (3.1 seconds) and three-tenths of a second to 124 mph (just 10.8 seconds). With the optional M Driver's Package, the model is capable of 189 mph, outgunning its arch rival, the Mercedes-AMG E63 Sedan, by 3 mph.
BMW has not detailed any additional changes to the M5's eight-speed paddle-shift automatic or the car's XDrive switchable all-wheel-drive system.
Those performance improvements are so slight that you probably won't be able to notice the difference on the street. But other Competition-spec features, such as a new active M Sport exhaust -- which promises a sportier tone to go along with its black chrome finishers -- should be easier to appreciate from both behind the wheel and as an onlooker.
Speaking of bystanders, keen car spotters will be able to recognize the 2019 BMW M5 Competition on the street via its unique two-tone Y-spoke alloy wheels and gloss-black accents on grille, door handles, mirrors, window trim and front gill slats.
Inside, the changes are similarly restrained, including M-striped seat belts, floor mats and unique instrument cluster graphics.
Production of all 2019 BMW M5 models gets underway in July. The 2019 M5 Competition will be priced at $110,995, including a $995 destination fee. That's a fair chunk over the $103,595 MSRP of today's standard 2018 M5, but it's also significantly cheaper than a Panamera Turbo. As with all things glorious and German, with great power comes greater pricing.