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BMW M5 Competition in the super test: The performance explosion of the sports sedan

Rossen Gargolov
BMW M5 Competition in the super test
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D he modern high-performance society cultivates - nomen est omen - based on performance. But what does it look like, the performance, what and how is it actually measured? In terms of commitment, commitment, or just EBIT? Perhaps also in terms of appearance or even in terms of musicality?

Competition package costs 8,800 euros extra for M5

The TV formats 'Germany's Next Topmodel' and 'The Voice of Germany' are apparently about to reformulate the performance principle. The performance is basically a property that is composed of a whole spectrum of actions or criteria. According to Wikipedia 'in accordance with socially given conventions or considerations of usefulness'.

Before it gets too complicated when it comes to the definition of performance, for the sake of simplicity we prefer to follow the well-known bon mot of former Chancellor Helmut Kohl: 'What matters is what comes out at the back.' Translated, this means: the bottom line is the driving performance, and ultimately even the lap times, which are decisive when measuring the performance of a sporty automobile.

Seen in this way, the effect of the BMW M GmbH also applies to The M6 ​​models at a price of around 8,000 euros in the Competition Package are not particularly far away: The performance of the current Supertest M5, which is equipped with this Competition Package, is in fact comparable to that of the basic M5 measured a good two years ago (Issue 9 /2012) as good as identical.

Well, in view of the standard already quite impressive constitution of the suspect cult power sedan, speculating that an additional power injection of just 15 hp will have an intoxicating effect is something like that as if one were hoping for significant health boosts through a single administration of globule pills.

BMW M5 Competition brings 649 hp to the role

Theoretical At this extremely high horsepower level, any possible increase in speed is not only neglected in the constantly changing external conditions - keyword: temperature and air pressure. The control algorithms of the Launch Control or the electronically managed differential lock also only allow certain leeway, depending on the constantly changing coefficients of friction. So the bottom line is that they are the ones in this high onePerformance class is decisive for the evaluation - better or worse.

In addition, when it comes to series production, there are apparently things in it that designers of the traditional naturally aspirated engine group, looking for performance, previously and never dared to dream of. The burgeoning turbo age makes everything seem possible. Even at the risk of energetic opposition from BMW, we allow ourselves to state that the bright blue Supertest candidate BMW M5 Competition with the registration number M-WK 9235 with no less than 649 hp was on the roll.

Mind you, on the role of the Maha dynamometer on which every Supertest candidate has been forced to reveal their motoric resources since the end of 2012. Some land a hit, others stay below the factory specification in terms of performance, others in turn spread slightly upwards.

Performance orgy reached beyond 200 km /h their climax

649 hp - according to the test stand protocol, that is 74 horsepower more than the manufacturer officially wants to have breathed into the eight-cylinder biturbo in the performance trim. M GmbH is not aware of any guilt in that it claims to be able to use regular test runs on the company's own engine test benches to prove that the performance is within the tolerance range permitted by the homologation sheet.

According to this, the nominal output specified by the manufacturer may vary up and down by a maximum of five percent. At this point we prefer not to calculate by how much our BMW M5 Competition scatters upwards in the Supertest, and instead delight in its extremely revealing and remarkably cultivated willingness to perform.

Although the current measured values ​​are in The standard programs up to 180 km /h (elasticity) or 200 km /h (acceleration) hardly differ from the previous ones: The sheer violence in the speed range beyond the 200 km /h mark brings tears of enthusiasm to your eyes - only achieved here the performance orgy subjectively reaches its climax.

BMW M5 Competition weighs 1,895 kg

That the in the attractive limousine The motorized magnificence of over 600 hp stored in the dress does not only unfold in all its glory in the designated regions and refuges for the first few kilometers, is not only due to the traffic conditions. The conceptual framework also contributes to the fact that types like the BMW M5 and its kind find it difficult to fully and, above all, sustainably demonstrate their range of services in everyday life.

Even if it is a full one PS contingent is also available here: There are gains of this kindIt is well known that neither the traction of a rear-wheel drive vehicle is beneficial, nor can the laws of mass be circumvented - rather the opposite is the case. In the case of the BMW M5 equipped with the Competition Package, there is an unchanged high mass on the plus side - with the known consequences in terms of tires, brakes and chassis from a driving dynamics point of view.

BMW M5 noticeably friendlier at the limit

According to M GmbH, it is a matter of 'coordinating the chassis technology in detail with the performance characteristics of the drive in order to reconcile maximum performance with confident and precisely controllable reactions even in highly dynamic driving situations'. Well, this requirement can be seen as largely fulfilled.

Apart from the additional stabilization of the chassis, which has been lowered by ten millimeters, thanks to stronger stabilizers, tighter damper characteristics, more precisely designed elastokinematics and, for the first time, the rear axle carrier bolted to the body It is thanks to the careful revision of the electronically controlled rear axle differential that the BMW M5 Competition now acts noticeably more friendly at the limit.

Up until now, the abrupt effect of the E-Diff caused the smooth transition of the drive wheels from the Static friction stood in the way of sliding friction. The attempts to break out the stern were therefore rather sudden. The now more gentle torque allocation to the drive wheel on the outside of the bend with simultaneous braking of the inside wheel makes it easier for the driver of the BMW M5 to control and indirectly improves traction.

ABS regulates relatively early

Unfortunately, these constructive and therefore beneficial changes do not result in better lap times. At least not on the small circuit in Hockenheim, on which the tires play a more significant role, especially in interaction with the braking system, than on the Nürburgring's Nordschleife, for example. Which brings us to a central point of criticism.

Even the most powerful brake components cannot have an outstanding effect if the deceleration performance is not fully transmitted - either because the tires themselves are overwhelmed and /or because the brake components are on the Rear axle due to strong dynamic wheel load shifts to the front have an increasingly smaller proportion of the braking power.

In this case, ABS gets the buck: In view of the high load on the front axle, the control work starts comparatively early, what inevitably leads to an extension of the braking distance that should not be underestimated.

No discernible braking progress

The lead that the factory-tuned BMW M5 due to better drivability in the border area andcan possibly also generate through the additional horsepower surcharge is completely used up again in the braking zones. There is also a need for improvement in the standard brake measurements. Measured against the surcharge that the optically very impressive carbon-ceramic brake system with huge, yellow-painted brake calipers on the front axle costs, the maximum deceleration of 10.7 m /s does not really represent a groundbreaking development step forward, that's clear.

But as I said: the brake itself is not to blame. The reason is more to be found in the brake balance as well as in the unsuccessful adaptation of the ABS to the tire specifications.

On the more extensive Nordschleife, which, as is well known, more the conditions of the country road than those of a modern Grand Prix course shows, the phenomenon observed in Hockenheim hardly appears - for a simple reason: The extremely hard braking zones do not play as big a role in relation to the lap times as in Hockenheim.

BMW M5 Competition in 7: 54 over the Nordschleife

And lo and behold: the lap times just tumble down in the super test. The fastest lap so far registered in the Supertest for the current M5 - 8.05 minutes - is undercut by the model with the Competition Package by a full eleven seconds: 7.54 minutes. The driveability, i.e. the confidence in the driving behavior, is by far not diminished as early as in Hockenheim.

On the Nordschleife, the BMW M5 Competition can show its motor strength for the first time with full force: at 262 km /h in the direction of Schwedenkreuz, up the Kesselchen at 230 km /h and on the rising Döttinger Höhe at almost 300 km /h - and not just according to the speedometer, but recorded to the decimal point using GPS data.

As a twin-turbo eight-cylinder with ultimate ambition, it is easy for the drive to drive the mass - including the crew of a good two tons - over the ring as if it had been reduced by half. The feeling is similarly impressive on the autobahn - with the well-known consequences: the vehemence with which the M5 crew can zoom towards the horizon has something addictive and frustrating at the same time in its casualness.

The constant question of why nobody wants to drive to the side in view of the rapid approach - or better yet: settle down there quietly and safely - is not one that concerns M5 drivers alone. But with 600 and more horsepower under the right foot, the frequency of this question increases exponentially for you too.

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