2020 BMW M5 gets sharp new looks and chassis tweaks

The revamped M5 has a bolder-looking front end and new LED headlights.
The revamped M5 has a bolder-looking front end and new LED headlights.

Following the recent unveiling of the facelifted 5 Series sedan, BMW’s M5 and M5 Competition high-performance versions have also received a midlife update.

While power stays the same in Bavaria’s business athlete, there are a number of cosmetic and technology changes as well as a retuned chassis. The car has been updated to blend a business sedan’s everyday usability with high-performance sports car dynamics more effectively than ever, says BMW.

The styling tweak involves a redesigned kidney grille, bolder front apron with larger side intakes and newly designed LED headlights. The rear apron with large diffuser has also been restyled, as have the three-dimensional LED rear lights.

A new option of BMW Individual lights Shadowline adds a dark-tinted accent to the Adaptive LED Headlights and BMW Laserlight.

The more powerful M5 Competition comes with black styling details to identify it as the elite model. Darth Vader’s favourite colour is applied to the kidney grille surround, the mesh on the M gills, the side mirrors, the additional rear spoiler on the boot lid and the tailpipes of the M Sport exhaust system.

Inside, the central display has been increased in size to make it easier to keep an eye on the many functions, and there’s a simplified operation to choose different settings for the engine, suspension, steering and M xDrive system. Inherited from the BMW M8, two new buttons on the centre console provide more direct access to various readouts in the instrument cluster and head-up display.

Featuring new shock absorbers from the BMW M8 Gran Coupé and a retuned chassis, the BMW M5 Competition gets improved handling at the limit as well as a more comfortable ride, via Variable Damper Control (VDC) that offers Comfort, Sport and Sport+ modes.

Bumps and ruts in the road are passed to passengers to a lesser degree without blunting the car’s sporting edge, says BMW.

The enlarged central display makes it easier to keep an eye on the many functions.
The enlarged central display makes it easier to keep an eye on the many functions.

Performance is unchanged with a high-revving 4.4l V8 turbo engine doing duty under the bonnet – producing 441kW/750Nm in the standard M5 and 460kW/750Nm in the M5 Competition.

BMW quotes a 0-100km/h time of 3.4 seconds for the M5 and 3.3 seconds for the M5 Competition. Top speed in both cars is governed to 250km/h, or to 305km/h with the optional M Driver’s Package.

Power is laid down via M xDrive intelligent all-wheel drive which allows the car’s handling characteristics to be altered by varying degrees, including a full rear-wheel drive mode.

Stopping power is provided by M Compound brakes which can now be specified in black or red as an option to the standard blue finish. Optional M Carbon ceramic brakes which are 23kg lighter and more fade resistant can also be specified.

The new M5 will arrive in South Africa in the fourth quarter of the year, only in the Competition guise.