2014 BMW M5 Competition Package Road Test Review

How does one make the extraordinary even more exceptional? This is a question many competing automotive manufacturers
2014 BMW M5 Competition Package
ask every time a new BMW M5 is offered. This question is doubtlessly accompanied by a great deal of handwringing, because every M5 ever offered has been the most exciting car in its class, and every new M5 is more brilliant than the last.  

When it comes to providing Herculean performance in a Walter Mitty-esque package, BMW has the formula down pat. Once again, for the 2014 model year, BMW has taken the outstanding and transformed it into absolutely stupefying with the M5 Competition Package. Elevating the already astounding road manners of the M5 into the realm of the positively unbelievable, the 2014 BMW M5 Competition Package extracts more grunt, more grip, and more grins from the venerable model.

2014 BMW M5 Competition Package
is accomplished with a freer-breathing exhaust system for more speed, and special 20-inch wheels with very sticky tires to improve handling. The package also provides more aggressive calibrations of the steering and suspension systems, as well as the differential.  

Over the years, a variety of engine configurations have been applied to the M5 solution. These have included normally–aspirated V8s, V10s, and inline six-cylinder engines. For 2014, the BMW M5 is running a twin-turbocharged 4.4-liter V8 engine capable of producing 560 horsepower and 502 ft-lbs of torque-in its basic configuration. The competition package’s freer-flowing exhaust system extracts an additional 15 horsepower from the engine, for a grand total of 575. Peak horsepower is achieved at 6,000 rpm, while peak torque is available to the driver from 1,500 rpm to 5,750 rpm with the competition package.

2014 BMW M5 Competition Package
other words, if you thought the standard iteration of the current BMW M5 was badass, you’re going to really admire the Competition Package equipped M5. It’s faster, handles better, and gives up very little in terms of ride quality. If A is Alberta and B is British Columbia, getting from A to B has never been so much fun.

Power transmission is handled by the buyer’s choice of a seven-speed dual-clutch semi-automatic transmission or a traditional six-speed manual transmission. The dual-clutch transmission offers a choice of three shift programs in both automatic and manual modes, so it can be set up to facilitate day-to-day puttering around town, maximize fuel-economy, or out-and-out aggression. Further, a launch control program is fitted to enable the driver to easily extract the maximum acceleration potential in a repeatable fashion.

2014 BMW M5 Competition Package
will say we’ve been a bit perplexed by the magnitude of adjustability the more recent iterations of the M5 has offered its drivers. While we do appreciate BMW’s quest to make the M5 nearly perfect for every pilot, we do feel it represents a bit of overkill. You, quite literally, could spend the better part of a month trying all of the different combinations of suspension, throttle mapping, steering aggressiveness, throttle aggressiveness, stability control, traction control, and transmission shift mapping settings.

The good news is, once you do find the perfect combination (or combinations), the car allows you to store them for recall at the touch of a button. Further, BMW offers a choice of pre-programmed settings as well. Like a professional model DSLR, you can operate the car in a fully custom configured manual mode, or you can take advantage of the pre-programmed settings. One of the benefits of that broad
2014 BMW M5 Competition Package
adjustability is the potential to tailor the ride quality and responsiveness of the car’s various control systems to comfort, sport, or track duty. Like a sleep-number mattress, you can tailor the M5 to drive softer than you’ll ever want it to, or more firmly than you’ll ever need it to.

Many have decried BMW over the years for the extremely business-like atmosphere of its car’s interiors. To our eye, the lack of the superfluous is a benefit rather than a detriment. Behind the wheel of the M5, everything you survey has a purpose, nothing is there simply because the designers thought it’d look good. What’s more, the setup totally caters to the driver. The subtle canting of the center stack toward the steering wheel telegraphs this quite politely, and yet
2014 BMW M5 Competition Package
rather firmly. It says the car knows for whom it was built, and has no problem letting everyone riding along know.

In other words, this is a driver’s car, which just so happens to seat three other people. With that said, we would feel remiss if we didn’t apprise you of the downside to all of this brilliance. The 2014 BMW M5 Competition Package equipped car is so good at going fast, the visceral response one gets from speed in lesser cars only occurs at significantly elevated velocities in the M5. While one glance at the instruments will let you know you’re doing something absolutely amazing, very little about the car’s demeanor will tell you so. This is a car you must drive. Whatever you do, don’t let it drive you.

The Competition Package adds $6,500 to the 2014 M5’s base price of $101,500, plus $985 for freight.
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