I’ve been trying lately to fall back in love with BMW. I’ll proudly champion the i3, drool over the i8, take the long way home in a 2 Series and gladly oblige my son with more exhaust bark from the M850i in the driveway. But the general, less-conditional love I felt for the lineup has dwindled. This love began with fetishizing the Z3 from “GoldenEye” and ended with the adrenaline crash that followed the ecstatic rush of slip-sliding the 1 Series M Coupe around Monticello Motor Club. When Autoblog Road Test Editor Reese Counts asked me if I wanted to review the M5 Competition, it seemed like a decent shot at recapturing that hormonal high that’s been slipping through my fingers in BMWs in recent years. Sure, Reese, I’ll do it. But instead of taking it to the track, as Autoblog contributor Lawrence Ulrich recently did, I had far less exciting things to get done, and with my pre-schooler in tow. So while Ulrich chased down Porsches in an M5 Competition at Monticello, I strapped the car seat into the back of the uber 5er, and took my 3½-year-old son on a 100-mile round-trip cruise to visit his 93-year-old great-grandmother in physical rehab. You see, Loentine has broken her leg again, and she really likes those chocolate malts from Culver’s. When duty calls, the Snyder boys answer … in a 617-horsepower German monster. The M5 Competition improves on the already potent M5 with more power, some chassis upgrades and, as befits what is the ultimate version of the M5 currently offered, a number of visual cues. It has light-alloy wheels developed specifically for the Competition version, subtle high-gloss accents and a “Competition” badge on the back, plus black seatbelts with M’s signature blue, purple and red stripes woven into them. There’s also carbon fiber here and there, with a large swath of it comprising the roof. More — perhaps most — important are the chassis tweaks. The Competition sits 7 mm lower than the base M5, and is generally firmer and sharper. Springs at both axles are 10% stiffer. Details like redesigned roll-bar mounts and increased negative front camber are all meant to make the M5 more responsive and agile. In terms of power, the difference between the Competition trim and a standard M5 is small: an extra 17 horsepower. Peak torque, unchanged from the standard M5’s 553 pound-feet, is available from 1,800 to 5,860 rpm, as opposed to 1,800 to 5,700 in the regular version. The result, though, was joyful, involuntary hoots when accelerating onto the highway. It doesn’t take long for the boost from the turbocharger to add that extra shove, and just when you’d expect the engine to run out of breath, this thing somehow finds even more speed in reserve. It’s hard to hold back an audible yelp when the M5 feels as though it's ready to lift into orbit. Sitting up a little bit in the seat to gauge the boy’s reaction in the rear-view …
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|MPG||15 City / 21 Hwy|
|Power||600 @ 6000 rpm|
|Drivetrain||M xDrive all wheel|
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