Germany's autobahn is one of the last places you can drive as fast as you want, or at least as fast as your car will go. However, even without limits, it's difficult to reach some cars' top speed because of traffic or because of how fast those cars are capable of going.
That's the problem with owning a vehicle like the BMW M5 Competition. The 4.4-liter twin-turbocharged V8 produces 617 horsepower and 553 pound-feet of torque. It's enough power to propel the 4,400-pound sedan to 60 miles per hour in 3.1 seconds and exceed 190 mph when given enough runway. And despite its weight, the M5 can dance. In 2019, the standard M5 turned in a seven-minute, 38.95-second lap time at the Nurburgring. The Competition version bested that time with a 7:35.90 lap.
Gallery: 2021 BMW M5 Competition: Review
Runway or not, the driver of this BMW M5 wastes no time getting up to speed. The powerful sedan makes several passes above 170 mph and even touches 192 mph at one point. The M5 accelerates like a private jet, building momentum like it's preparing to leave the ground. Every run begins with the muted growl of the forced induction V8 as the speedometer races and the scenery blurs.
Despite its mass, the F90 BMW M5 was heralded as the return of the king. Produced from 2017 to 2023, it's regarded in some circles as the true heir to the E39 M5, which ended its reign in 2003. The E39 established the formula and set the bar for subsequent M5 sedans. The E60, with its screaming V10 engine, and the F10 that followed, were amazing cars. However, the F90 really confirmed that BMW was back on its game. Like the other M cars, the current M5 is an incredible machine capable of embarrassing more exotic-looking performance cars.
Lately, there's been a new BMW M5 testing at the Nurburgring. Expected to debut for the 2024 model year, the next version retains the V8 engine and adds hybrid power. Judging from what we've heard, the next M5 will be faster and more capable. But for now, we can enjoy the audacious performance of the current one.