575 HP 2014 BMW M5 On-Track Review By Dutch FIA Champion Henny Hemmes

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2014 BMW M5 With Competition Package

First Drive: 2014 BMW M5 with Competition Package

By Henny Hemmes
Senior European Editor
The Auto Channel

CASCAIS, Portugal, July 22, 2013; After my recent BMW track test driving hot laps with the BMW 4 Series Coupe, there was another hot car to be driven on the Estoril Circuit. I got behind the wheel of the most powerful M5 so far. In the pits, BMW M GmbH had just presented the details of the fastest variants of the M5 and the M6 models. There were two of each available for some hot laps to experience their potential.

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Maximilian Ahme, responsible for the M5/M6 project, said that the goal was to develop a package for people who take their M5 or M6 on the track. The Competition Package should provide the M5 (F10) and the three variants of the M6, the Coupe (F13), Cabrio (F12) and Gran Coupe (F06) with the highest level of dynamism and sportiness. Optimization of the performance qualities of those models include a modified chassis with a sportier tuned suspension and dampers and stiffer (read: thicker) front and rear anti-roll bars. In the M5 CP, this resulted in a 10 mm, or four inches lower ride height than of the standard M5, just like the current M3 (E92) with Competition Package. It also lowers the center of gravity. To match those changes and for improved traction, also the Active M (limited slip) Differential has been tuned.

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Fine-tuning measures in the steering gear provide a more precise control and make higher corner speeds possible.

The control systems for the chassis have been adjusted to the changes, with the result that the M Dynamic mode of the DSC (Dynamic Stability Control) is even better tuned for a sporty driving experience. Both M5 and all variants of the M6 are 0.1 seconds faster from standstill to 62 mph. The M5 now needs 4.2 sec.

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On Estoril, Max Ahme, responsible for the chassis development at BMW M GmbH, said: “With Competition Package, the M5 is 10 seconds faster on the Nordschleife (of the Nürburgring)” This would mean the lap time dropped from 7 minute 55 to 7: 45.

It is the most powerful production car that the Bavarians have made so far. For the Competition Package, the 4.4-liter V8 has also been ‘upgraded’. Maximum power is increased from 412 kW/560 hp to 423 kW/575 hp, while the maximum torque of the engine remains the same: 680 Nm/502 lb-ft from 1,500 rpm.

Henny's Hot Laps

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During a few hot laps on the track, it was clear that the availability of torque from low revs allows you to drive in third gear through some of the short bends. There is hardly any sign of understeer and power can be applied sooner, meaning, the exit from the bend is quicker. Paddle shifting the 7-speed transmission results in instant gear changes. Noticeable is also the more direct steering that provides better feedback. The carbon ceramic brakes that are always an option, worked excellent even at high temperature and pedal feel remained constantly firm.

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The new models stand on 20-inch unique BMW M alloy wheels and they are equipped with a noisier sports exhaust with M quad tail pipes in black chrome. The Package offers no interior changes.

The M5 and M6 models with Competition Package are already available. The prices for the competition package are $7,300 for the M5, M6 Coupe and M6 Convertible and $6,000 for the M6 Gran Coupe.

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