BMW Is Already Working on a Faster M5

A 600-horsepower M5 isn't enough for you? At the Los Angeles Auto Show, BMW executives told us an M5 Competition Package is "closer than you'd think."

Brian Williams

The 600-horsepower, all-wheel drive 2o18 BMW M5 made its debut just a few months ago at the Frankfurt Motor Show, but BMW's already working on a new, faster version. Or at least, that's the impression we got after speaking with folks from BMW at the Los Angeles Auto Show this week.

We were chatting about the new lightweight, track-focused M3 CS with Frank Van Meel, head of BMW M, when we asked if BMW would ever do a CS version of the M5. "We don't have an M5 Competition today, so that might be an interesting question first before you look at the CS," he replied.

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As a reminder, BMW's upgrades to M performance cars come in three increasingly extreme flavors: Competition Package, CS, and CSL.

Van Meel said customers are already asking for a Competition Package for the M5, an option he said could arrive "in the not so far future, theoretically." Sebastian Maier, the product manager for the M3 CS, echoed Van Meel's comment, telling us that an M5 Competition Package is "closer than you'd think."

Van Meel told us such a car would likely mimic the current M3/M4 Competition Pack, which brought a small horsepower bump and a host of chassis hardware and tuning changes.

He explained the philosophy of the Competition Package, and how it differs from a "regular" M-car. "The idea is to be better than the predecessor and the competition with the M car," he said. Then, when a Competition Package is introduced, "We want to put the level one step higher."

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Van Meel also told us there's strong demand worldwide for Competition Package models—in some markets, 80 percent of M3s and M4s sold are so equipped.

Looking back at our conversation, it seems like Van Meel is hinting that, after an M5 Competition Package, the automaker might be able to make a case for an M5 CS. What about a super-hard-core M5 CSL? That's probably less likely, Van Meel tells us—you can't fit a roll cage in a 5-series and still use it as a sedan.

We will be reviewing the "regular" M5 soon. You can also expect BMW to publish a Nurburgring laptime for the performance sedan in the near future: Van Meel said that, while conditions at the famed German track weren't good when they made a lap attempt earlier this year, he's incredibly confident that the car will put up impressive numbers.

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