To anyone who’s driven a BMW M5 before, you already know that it’s a ridiculously fast car. With the Competition model packing 617 horsepower and a 3.1 second 0-60 time, the last thing it needed was more power. And for now, that’s exactly what the 2021 BMW M5 didn’t get. The car still packs the same 4.4-liter twin-turbo V8 with the same power levels as before, but the automaker did make some subtle tweaks that make this M5 the fastest, and arguably the most hardcore, version yet.
As before, the standard M5 is still no slouch, with 600 horsepower and a 0-60 time of 3.2 seconds. Regardless of whether you get the standard model or the Competition, its V8 churns out 553 lb-ft of torque to all four wheels through a rear-biased xDrive all-wheel drive system. This time around, however, the optional M Driver’s Package raises the top speed. While the speed would otherwise be limited to 155 mph, that package raises the limit to a stratospheric 190 mph. As before, all that grunt still makes its way through a conventional eight-speed automatic transmission.
Despite the fact that it’s all-wheel drive, the 2021 BMW M5 still has a rear-wheel drive mode up its sleeves. That allows drivers to disconnect the front axle when they want to go sideways, though you should be careful about where you do that. Other tweaks to the car’s performance include a simpler “M mode” button for a one-touch solution to setting the car up just right, replacing the individual buttons for engine, chassis, suspension, steering and the xDrive system.
The 2021 BMW M5 also sports a new “Track mode”, which is fitting for a sedan that can embarrass some top-end sports cars in sheer speed. That comes straight from the new M8.
Other small tweaks
Apart from the performance tweaks, the updated M5 gets new headlight and taillight designs. That mirrors its ordinary 5 Series sibling, while the M5 also gets new rear bumpers, a distinctive (though not oversized) front grille, and new exterior colors like Motegi Red Metallic, shown above.
The M5’s center stack has also been upgraded with a new 12.3-inch infotainment display. New BMW cloud-based navigation comes standard, as does Apple CarPlay compatibility. Options packages include the Competition Package upping the horsepower to 617 and bring retuned suspension to the table, as well as advanced driver assistance systems by way of the Driving Assistance Professional Package and Executive Package. The former adds adaptive cruise control and traffic jam assist, while the later adds soft-close doors, front ventilated and massaging seats, front and rear heated seats, a drive recorder, and a 3D surround view camera system.
Pricing for the 2021 BMW M5 nudges ever more slightly north of $100,000, though it doesn’t get a huge price spike. The standard 600 horsepower model starts at $104,495, while the M5 Competition starts at $112,095 (including BMW’s $995 destination).