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BMW M5 Competition F90 review – ​design

BMW’s conservative 5-series forms a good basis for an M5 that does well to slip under the radar

Evo rating
Price
from £96,205
  • Powertrain devastatingly effective; more dynamically capable than rivals and beautifully built
  • It’s big; steering lacks life; soundtrack is too augmented

The BMW M5 might have supercar-toppling performance, but it certainly ranks as one of the more subtle supersaloons on the aesthetic scale. The standard 5-series is itself a restrained design, but the M5’s relative lack of bespoke body addenda outside of its mildly widened front wings and quad exhaust pipes is far more subtle than an RS6’s cartoonishly wide body or the E63 S’s bespoke nose.

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The Competition model did include a few extra inclusions when launched, including a fresh set of forged 20-inch wheels, darkened tail lights and a black rear diffuser section, but with that comes a blackened grille which although increasingly popular, is a jarring element. 

For some, the M5’s understated approach will be preferable, but whether you’re a fan of a more outlandish aesthetic or not, it does struggle to feel as special or bespoke as its rivals. That could change with next year's all-new model, though, which will adopt bespoke wider body panels and a far more aggressive stance than standard.

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