Obviously, one of the coolest BMWs in attendance during Monterey Car Week was the BMW M5 CS. Not only is it the most special Bimmer in ages, I’d personally argue even more special than the M2 CS, it was one of the rarest cars in Monterey. That might seem crazy but it’s true. BMW didn’t sell a ton in America, and the ones it did allocate for US sales are already bought and accounted for, which leaves the car you see in this photo gallery as one off the very few you’ll actually get to see in the ‘States.

What makes the BMW M5 CS so special? Not much of its specialness is visible, to be honest. Sure, the carbon roof, carbon fiber aero bits, carbon fiber hood, and yellow headlights look cool. But those cooler looks aren’t what make the M5 CS great.

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Under the hood, the familiar 4.4 liter twin-turbocharged V8 makes 626 horsepower and 553 lb-ft of torque. If those sound like modest gains over the standard M5, you’d be right. Horsepower is only up by nine ponies from the M5 Competition and torque is the same. However, the M5 CS simply has to make more power than claimed because it feels significantly faster on the road than the standard M5 or even the M5 Comp. It’s like sitting inside a missile.

Even better than that, though, is how the M5 CS feels. Those carbon bits, including the incredible carbon fiber bucket seats, along with some additional weight savings, make the M5 CS quite a bit lighter than the standard car. In fact, it has the best power-to-weight ratio of any production BMW in history. It’s sharper, more dynamic, and more engaging than ever before. The loss of some sound insulation also makes it feel more raucous, more alive. The steering is far better, too. All in, it’s just an incredible package.

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Very few BMW fans are going to see an M5 CS in the flesh, which is why its presence at Monterey was awesome, as it gave those loyal Bimmerphiles a chance to get up close and personal with one of the brand’s all time greats.