Price (as tested) 💲: $137,645 
Powertrain ⚙️:  4.4-Twin-Turbocharged liter V8
Output 💪: 617 hp/553 lb-ft of torque
Transmission 🕹: 8-Speed Automatic
0-60 MPH 🚦: 3.0 seconds
Top Speed 💥: 190 mph
MPG (as tested) ⛽️: 15 city/21 hwy/17 combined 
Curb weight ⚖️:  4,262 lbs


This became something of a mantra – mumbled under my breath – while spending a week with the 2023 BMW M5 Competition.

By the time I handed back the keys to the Bavarian Bruiser, I really did believe my chant, but I’d be lying if I said there weren’t moments behind the wheel, or seeing it parked in my driveway, or admiring the interior design, that I didn’t question my decision.

A spec sheet will tell you the CT5-V Blackwing makes more power (a dyno will tell you otherwise), and just about anyone will tell you the BMW M5 Competition has the prettier cabin and the more upscale aesthetic, but the two traits that have me, ultimately, sighing with relief rather than cringing with remorse are the Blackwing’s phenomenal Tremec 6-speed and blissful Magnetic Ride Control dampers.

The ZF 8-speed auto found in the Bimmer is smooth, quick, and intuitive, but fiddling a pair of plastic paddles can’t compare to jamming through a slick, sorted manual gearbox.

Ergonomic, heated, and massaging seats dull some discomfort, but the M5 Comp’s ride remains brittle and bouncy.

Pit the pair against one another in a drag race, and the M5’s active all-wheel drive system will walk away from the rear-drive Blackwing. Sling ‘em through corners, and the tentative driver will savor the security of the Comp’s grip and forgiving dynamics.

But a pro like Randy Pobst will still find a second or two per lap of pace in the Blackwing beyond the M5’s limits, and an amateur like me will still be cackling with laughter to drown out the logic of the M5’s more “usable” performance.

There are a thousand great reasons to buy a BMW M5 Competition, and yet…

I don’t regret choosing the Blackwing.