2021 BMW M5 receives new look and tech but no extra horsepower

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BMW in May unveiled a mid-cycle update for its 5-Series, which included revised styling, new technology in the cabin, and a mild-hybrid setup on some models.

On Tuesday, the automaker unveiled the car’s high-performance M5 variant which is due to join the updated 5-Series in showrooms later this year. It will arrive as a 2021 model and with a starting price of $‭104,495 for the regular M5 and ‭$112,095‬ for the spicier M5 Competition.

BMW hasn’t pulled any surprises with the updated M5, at least not yet. There’s a new variant still out testing and word on the street is that it will be a new range-topper carrying a “CS” badge.

As for the regular M5 and M5 Competition, the updated versions continue to run a 4.4-liter twin-turbocharged V-8. Peak output for both models remains unchanged at 600 and 617 horsepower, respectively, though it’s well known that the V-8, known to die-hards as the S63, is very conservatively rated. In both models peak torque registers at 553 pound-feet.

2021 BMW M5

2021 BMW M5

2021 BMW M5

2021 BMW M5

2021 BMW M5

An 8-speed automatic is standard, as is BMW M’s own all-wheel-drive system. This system can vary torque between the front and rear axles and between the rear wheels. The driver can also switch it into full rear-wheel-drive mode at a push of a button.

The M5 will sprint to 60 mph from rest in 3.2 seconds while the M5 Competition will achieve the same feat in 3.1 seconds. Top speed is capped at 155 mph in both models though this can be lifted to 190 mph by adding the available M Driver’s Package. Adding this pack also nets the owner access to a driver training course.

The sport-tuned suspension features adjustable dampers as standard, and the setup used on the M5 Competition is a new design added to improve ride comfort during high-speed driving on the highway and over bumps. Compared to the M5, the Competition model sits 0.2 inches lower and features increased negative camber at the front, a stiffer anti-roll bar up back, 10% stiffer springs at both ends, and toe-link ball joint mounts instead of the M5’s rubber bushings. The M5 also features 19-inch wheels versus the Competition’s 20-inch set. Carbon-ceramic brake rotors are available on both models.

2021 BMW M5

2021 BMW M5

2021 BMW M5

2021 BMW M5

2021 BMW M5

2021 BMW M5

To adjust many of the performance systems, there’s now just a single “M mode” button that replaces separate buttons for adjusting the engine, chassis, suspension, steering and all-wheel drive on the existing M5. Pressing this button allows the driver to choose from various modes including a new “Track” mode exclusive to the M5 Competition.

Mirroring the updated version of the 5-Series, the updated M5 sports new lights, a new grille, and revised fascias. Buyers also have more choices when it comes to exterior colors, with the BMW Individual personalization department offering three colors of its own.

For the interior, the dash features a larger 12.3-inch (up 2.0 inches) infotainment screen with touch capability, and Android Auto now joins Apple CarPlay for smartphone integration. The infotainment system has the latest version of BMW’s voice activation system, while the navigation system has new cloud-based maps that can create faster routes and recalculate routes based on real-time traffic data.

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Saurabh Shukla

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