On the track and on the autobahn, BMW is testing the face-lifted M5, which will be launched this summer as a 2014 model. It will continue to be offered with its 560-hp, twin-turbo 4.4-liter V-8, but there also will be an optional performance pack—first brought to our attention by bmwblog.com, who stumbled across a post on m5board.com—rumored to be called Competition package, which includes a number of upgrades. What hasn’t been reported is that the M6 lineup, including not only the coupe but also the cabriolet and the Gran Coupe, will be offered with the same package.

An insider confirms to us that output of the higher-performance M5 and M6 models will rise from 560 to 575 horsepower; both models will receive distinct wheels, black exhaust tips, a revised suspension tuned in favor of more sportiness and crisper handling, and a more direct steering ratio. The cars’ 0-to-60 time is understood to drop by 0.1 second—which, based on our testing, would mean a 0–60 time of 3.6 seconds—while top speed will remain governed at 190 mph.

  • Comparison Test: 2013 Audi S6 vs. 2013 BMW M5, 2012 Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG
  • Instrumented Test: 2013 BMW M5 Manual
  • Comparison Test: 2013 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 Convertible vs. 2012 BMW M6 Convertible

With the 15-hp upgrade, the M5 and M6 models equipped with the Competition package are virtually as powerful as the 577-hp Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG S and its CLS derivative, and they’ll outgun the upcoming 560-hp Audi RS7. (Although with the Merc and Audi’s all-wheel-drive systems, sprints to 60 likely will be completed in equal or better times than the new M5.) We expect full details to emerge from Munich in the coming months, but count on a hefty premium over the current M5 and M6′s base prices, which start at $92,395 and $110,545, respectively.

By Jens Meiners