During our visit to Portugal to drive the BMW 435i last month, we had been also invited to take a number of laps of your Estoril circuit in the M5 and M6 with Competition Package. And although we’re not likely to pass up such an opportunity, we weren’t expecting much from the minimal upgrades. All things considered, when a car boasts 560hp, adding an added 2.5% didn’t seem like anything to write home about.
Oncehowever and again, BMW’s engineers proved us wrong by turning out a car that’s dynamically preferable over the stock version in just about every way. Whilst the individual parts might not soon add up to much, the combined total was dazzling on the famous racetrack.
It’s usually numerous suspension changes to make the auto more track focused if you’re not really acquainted with the M division’s Competition Packages. In this situation, they also added a 15hp increase to make the price more palatable.
Costing an additional $6000 in addition to a BMW M6 Gran Coupe (starting at $113000) or $7300 over the M5 ($90900), M6 ($109200) or M6 Convertible ($115500), it comes down to extra bragging rights for many owners. A number of drivers will do what BMW Motorsport imagined and track these cars, which can be when the ZHP Competition Package comes into its very own.
Available since July 2013, the extra 15hp comes from software enhancements and doesn’t involve any mechanical changes. However, the cars get a new sports exhaust with black chrome tailpipes to identify it. The system is fitted with a flap that’s connected to thego for new suspension, with 20% stiffer spring and damper rates, 15% stiffer sway bars and 10% quicker steering via the Servotronic assistance. There are stiffer front bushings but the rear subframe is already bolted to the car and didn’t need further attention.
It’s worth noting that just the M5 is physically lowered 10mm during these upgrades, lowering the center of gravity.
In addition to the faster steering, software tuning is used to the Active M diff and the M Dynamic Mode application of the steadiness control.
Competition Package cars can be further identified by 20 601M wheels. The M6 Gran Coupe is fitted with standard 20 wheels so doesn’t get an upgrade, which explains the cheaper Package price.
So after understanding what ZHP entailed, we drove onto the Estoril racetrack to discover its ability. And to be honest, it wason what was an admittedly smooth track, the suspension gave incredible control. There was almost no trace of body roll in the tight turns yet it didn’t seem jarringly stiff either.
Inevitably, this kind of heavy car would understeer but it was easily controlled with the (optional) carbon-ceramic brakes that are amazingly efficient, encouraging a slow-in, fast-out approach. The alternative was to simply enter fast, lift off and power steer out. The revised traction control allowed some lurid oversteer angles without letting you spin into the scenery. This was aided by the quicker steering that allowed you to catch the slide quicker.
Driving more sensibly, you can jump on the strength incredibly early out of a turn, propelling you forward with great stability. Power modulation seemed better than the stock car and, naturally, it sounded good also. The cars are also claimed to be .1sec faster to 60mph if that’s essential to you.
Its great combination of power, stability and entertainment take the M5 and M6 to another one level, creating better track cars during this process, although many individuals will opt for the new Competition Package simply because they want the best of everything.