The 2021 BMW 5 Series debuted last week, so we knew it'd be only a matter of time before the company pulled the cover off its updated M5 and M5 Competition, too. And after a brief ride in an early prototype, today we get our first look at the facelifted performance saloons.

While the standard BMW M5, which is not available in the UK, and BMW M5 Competition may not look dramatically different at first glance, the 5er family does get subtle new visual cues and additional interior tech in an effort to keep the fast four-door fresh.

Updated Inside And Out

The M5's updated front fascia consists of bigger kidney grilles that extend further down onto the fascia, redesigned bumpers that give the car a more chiselled look, a bigger hexagonal centre intake below the bigger grilles, and two enlarged intake vents on either side of that. The L-shaped LED headlights are brand new, too, and offer a slimmer, sharper look than the ones found on the previous model.

The rear end of the M5 also gets a subtle redesign that includes a more angular bumper and diffuser, distinctive new taillights, and redesigned M-specific quad exhaust tips. The 19-inch M wheels are new to the 2021 model as well. Opting for the M5 Competition adds a black chrome treatment to the front grille, taillights, boot spoiler, and badges.

2021 BMW M5 / M5 Competition
2021 BMW M5 / M5 Competition

The biggest update to the interior of the M5 is the addition of the standard Live Cockpit setup with iDrive 7, which gives the saloon two massive 12.3-inch screens – one being the touchscreen atop the dash and the other the digital instrument cluster behind the steering wheel. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto come standard, and for the first time in the M5, they're wireless. The addition of iDrive 7 also adds a cloud-based BMW navigation system and some of the latest active safety features.

The 2021 BMW M5 comes standard with lane departure warning with steering assist, automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, rear cross-traffic alert, and automatic high-beam assist. The Driving Assistance Professional package is available at an extra cost, adding BMW's advanced adaptive cruise control with stop and go, lane-centring technology, and more.

Gallery: 2021 BMW M5 / M5 Competition

Same Potent Power

What doesn't change in the update is power. The "standard" 2021 M5 still gets 592 bhp and 553 pound-feet from a twin-turbocharged 4.4-litre V8. The M5 hits 60 miles per hour in just 3.2 seconds and tops out at 190 mph with the optional M Driver's package. The slightly more powerful M5 Competition produces 616 bhp and 553 lb-ft, which gives it a 0-60 mph time of 3.1 seconds.

Both the M5 and M5 Competition come standard with an xDrive all-wheel-drive system that allows the driver to select between 4WD, 4WD Sport, and 2WD traction modes – the latter acting as a makeshift drift mode. There are also four driving modes to choose from: Comfort, Sport, Sport+, and a new Track mode.

2021 BMW M5 / M5 Competition
2021 BMW M5 / M5 Competition

The 2021 BMW M5 Competition starts at £98,095 and goes on sale this August.