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2021 BMW M5 Overview

The 2021 BMW M5, which has been the benchmark for midsize luxury performance sedans for nearly four decades, gets refreshed styling and feature updates for the 2021 model year. This BMW competes against cars like the Mercedes-AMG E63 S, Porsche Panamera, and Audi S6.

The aggressive sedan gets refreshed styling on the front and rear ends. For wheels, 19-inch alloys come standard and the Competition package upgrades to 20-inch wheels. Blue front brake calipers come standard, but they can be swapped out for red or high gloss black calipers at no charge. BMW adds Brands Hatch Grey, Motegi Red Metallic, Tanzanite Blue II Metallic, Aventurine Red II Metallic, and matte Frozen Bluestone Metallic to the paint palette.

Every M5 gets a 4.4-liter twin-turbo V8 engine, with an eight-speed automatic transmission. Base specs are 600 horsepower and 553 pound-feet of torque. This year, the Competition model is instead sold as a Competition package, which brings engine tuning for 617 hp and 553 lb-ft, a new track mode, and an updated suspension system. Other features include a transmission oil cooler, an active differential, and optional carbon-ceramic brakes. According to the EPA, the M5 is rated for 17 mpg combined.

The M5 also gets a refreshed interior, though standard features like leather upholstery, heated front seats, and a heated steering wheel carry over. Newly standard interior features for 2021 include remote start and four-zone automatic climate control.

This model year, the M5’s infotainment system gets upgraded to a 12.3-inch display. It also features a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, wireless-device charging, and a Harman Kardon stereo system. Android Auto compatibility now joins Apple CarPlay, and a new cloud-based navigation system is on board, too.

Standard safety features include a reversing camera, blind-spot monitoring, lane-departure warning, forward-collision warning, automatic emergency braking, pedestrian detection, and a head-up display (HUD). Options include adaptive cruise control and adaptive lane control.

These welcome updates help the BMW M5 retain its status as an aspirational, yet reasonably attainable performance sedan.


Cherise is a Chicago-based freelance writer and editor with nearly 15 years of experience covering the automotive industry. Cherise loves writing about car culture and sharing common-sense car-buying advice. She owns a 2019 Subaru WRX Series.Gray, 2020 Subaru Outback Onyx XT, 2007 Genuine Buddy Italia 150, 2015 Honda Grom, and 1979 Boston Whaler Montauk.

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