When BMW M first developed the M5 back in the mid ’80s, the goal was simple; stuff a motorsport-derived engine into a family sedan and create the greatest all-around, dual-purpose driving machine in the world. At the time, that’s exactly what the E28 M5 was. It was faster than a Porsche 911 yet seated five, had electric power everything, a comfy ride and an interior fit for a king.
Over the years, performance has increase but the goal hasn’t changed; its duality, the ability to be both performance car and luxury car, is still at the forefront of the M5’s design brief. But what if it wasn’t? What if BMW decided that it might be more fun to take the family for a track day instead of a road trip? What if the brilliant psychopaths in Garching made a BMW M5 CS?
Now, they have. The first-ever BMW M5 CS is finally here and it’s just about the silliest, yet most exciting car that BMW M has developed in a long time. The best part about the M5 CS is that it’s barely any more powerful than the M5 Competition on which it’s based.
A Slight Refresh Of The V8 Engine
Powering the M5 CS is the same 4.4 liter twin-turbocharged V8 as every other M5, except it’s been massaged to make 627 horsepower, up just ten ponies, yet its torque rating of 553 lb-ft remains unchanged. According to BMW, though, its 0-60 mph time has dropped to 2.9 seconds, versus the 3.1 seconds flat for the M5 Competition. The BMW M5 CS sprints from 0 – 100 km/h (62 mph) in just 3.0 seconds, and from 0 – 200 km/h (124 mph) in 10.4 seconds. Top speed is an electronically governed 305 km/h (189 mph).
The rest of the powertrain is the same as every other M5; an eight-speed ZF automatic gearbox and xDrive all-wheel drive. So the slight performance increase is due more to the M5 CS losing some weight and adding grip than the minor power bump.
Engine photo gallery
The standard BMW M5 is quite the porky machine, so to help make it a proper ‘CS’, the M Division had to give it a steady diet of carbon fiber. Much like its smaller M2 CS cousin, the M5 CS gets a carbon fiber roof, hood, rear spoiler, front splitter, rear diffuser and mirror caps.
That carbon diet combined with lightweight bucket seats, similar to those found in the new M3 Competition, and forged lightweight wheels to further bring the weight down. There’s also less soundproofing and — quite possibly the coolest aspect of the new M5 CS — the lack of a third rear seat.
Exterior Design Gallery
A Gorgeous Interior Design
In the back of the BMW M5 CS, you’ll notice just two lightweight bucket seats, like a track-ready Aston Martin Rapide. The rear seats are similar buckets as the fronts, just wedged into the rear bulkhead. So you can bring your family along for the ride at the Nurburgring.
Let’s hope the M5 CS also comes with a cleaning service subscription, to remove the kids’ vomit out of the rear carpets.
Interior design gallery
Speaking of interior, the M5 CS’ genuinely looks more special than the standard car’s. The steering wheel is entirely Alcantara with a top-mounted stripe, just like the M2 CS’, the seats look absolutely fantastic and the back seat, with just its two racing buckets, is pure hooliganism. The seats even feature Nurburgring imprints in their headrests, reminding you of just where BMW planned on the M5 CS going. James May will probably love this car.
Though, don’t just think the BMW M5 CS is some marketing gimmick; some special edition exterior and interior package designed to attract deep-pocketed social media influencers. The M Division has given this car some proper thought and it shows when you see what’s under its skin.
More Changes Under The Skin
Springs are ten percent stiffer, the ride height has dropped 0.2 inches (5 mm), front negative camber has been increased, there’s a firmer rear anti-roll bar and the tow-link ball-joint mounts are also stiffer. Even the engine mounts are stiffer, by almost 2,000 in-lbs. BMW M has also tuned the Dynamic Damper Control to work with the stiffer springs and chassis. Having seen what BMW M did with the M2 CS’ chassis tuning, we expect great things from the M5 CS, too.
The 20″ Gold Bronze wheels — 285/35/20 at the rear and 275/35/20 at the front — are now wrapped in no-cost optional Pirelli P Zero Corsa tires — 285/35/20 at the rear and 275/35/20 at the front, which are some of the most aggressive street tires you can get at the moment. Standard non-runflat performance tires are available as well but if you really want the full track experience, get the no-cost Corsas.
As always, there are a myriad of driver settings to choose from; allowing the driver to customize engine, transmission, steering, suspension, all-wheel drive system and even brake settings. It’s almost too much. However, to simply things, as always, are the two programmable “M1” and “M2” preset buttons on the extra thick Alcantara steering wheel. So drivers can save two different setting presets to those buttons, allowing them to more easily select their preferred setup.
Simplifying things further, there’s also an M Mode button which switches between three setups; “ROAD”, “SPORT” and “TRACK”. Just pressing the M Mode buttons toggles between ROAD and SPORT modes, while TRACK mode is only accessible via a long hold of the button.
In ROAD mode, everything is setup nice and easy; all safety settings turned on, xDrive in its calmest setting and full information is displayed on all screens. Further customization is available through the setup menu and the aforementioned steering wheel “M” buttons.
SPORT mode allows drivers to turn off some safety systems, engage MDM (M Dynamic Mode) for the traction control and it switches the instrument panel and head-up display into M View. The latter gives the driver more simplified gauges as well as mechanical info, such as coolant temperature, tire pressure and g-forces.
However, it’s TRACK mode that’s most interesting. In this mode, all driver assistance features are turned off, the speakers and iDrive screen are temporarily disabled and the head-up display shows simplified information, so the driver can focus on the tarmac ahead. This is common in cars like McLarens or Porsche GT cars but a four-door M5? It’s unusual, yet alluring.
Best Looking BMW Today
On the road photo gallery
It’s also incredibly refreshing that we’ve gotten this far in discussing the new BMW M5 CS and haven’t once mentioned its looks. If you’re wondering why, it’s because the new M5 CS looks damn good. The standard F90 M5 is a handsome, if a bit boring looking, performance sedan. For CS-duty, though, the M5 has been beefed up and it looks much meaner. That new carbon fiber hood is as aggressive as it is light, with a large hood bulge, a couple of vents and more creases. It also gets bronze accents on the kidney grilles to match the wheels, carbon fiber aero, a carbon fiber rear lip spoiler and a new diffuser that looks like to little butt cheeks. It even gets killer yellow headlight accents.
Only three colors are available. The standard color is Brands Hatch Grey metallic, with two optional colors; Frozen Brands Hatch Grey and Frozen Deep Green metallic. The interior comes in but one color scheme — black with red accents. If you want gold brake calipers instead of red ones, you can have those at no extra cost.
The BMW M5 CS is such a deeply silly car. Taking what is essentially a high-performance luxury/family car and turning it into a track car with less noise insulation, a stiffer ride, less comfortable seats and fewer seats altogether seems like lunacy. Except, that’s exactly why it works.
Nothing about the M5 CS makes any logical sense, which is exactly why we love it. BMW, and even its M Division, has been making such sensible, business-case cars that appease more bean counters than enthusiasts for the past decade or so. However, the M5 CS is just the right amount of silly we were hoping for from BMW. It’s a four-door track monster that has racing bucket seats in the back so you can make your passengers hurl while blitzing down the Nurburgring. How do you not love that?
The BMW M5 CS will be limited to one model year only – 2022. For the U.S. models, the weight savings is confirmed at 230 lbs over the M5 Competition. The European spec M5 CS shows a weight loss of 70 kilograms compared with the M5 Competition.
U.S. cars are expected to arrive in the second half of the year. No word on the final number of units to be produced, nor their allocation by market. MSRP is $142,000 plus $995 Destination.