Most of BMW’s recent press coverage has been around its various marketing goofs and ridiculing the awful-looking grilles of the new M3 and M4 models. But the carmaker’s latest release is a return to something less divisive – a more powerful version of the M5 sedan and the most powerful M production car till date. Meet the 626hp M5 CS.
The CS moniker is reserved for only the most hardcore version of a BMW M model. Often thought to mean Coupe Sport, it seems that the true meaning of the acronym is ClubSport. BMW has been applying the CS badge to its recent lineup of performance models such as the M3, M4, M2 and now the M5 as well.
For the first-ever M5 CS, BMW has tinkered with its 4.4-litre twin-turbo V8 to find that 626hp and 750Nm. That’s 9hp more than the facelifted M5 Competition and 35hp more than the standard M5. It also gets bespoke engine mounts for the firmer setup and improvements to the oil supply system for prolonged track use. The engine is still mated to an 8-speed M Steptronic transmission but the 0-100kph time has dropped down to 3 seconds while the top speed is electronically limited to 305kph.
Combined with the bump in power is the 70kg weight loss thanks to the use of lightweight CFRP (carbon fibre reinforced plastic). The new bonnet with the hump in the middle with air vents is made from the same material. So are the roof, front apron, engine cover, intake silencer, rearview mirrors, rear diffuser, rear spoiler and the boot lid. BMW M engineers found some more weight savings by reducing soundproofing and PVC stitching. The M carbon-ceramic brakes are 23kgs lighter than the standard brakes on the M5 Competition.
Those improvements alone are not enough to justify the CS badge. That’s why the M5 CS also features bespoke chassis tuning, retuned bearing springs at both axles, 7mm lower ride height, refined damper control and the shock absorbers that were developed for the M8 Gran Coupe. Like all modern-day fast BMW M models, it has the M xDrive all-wheel-drive system with a rear-wheel-bias that can be switched to RWD only mode as well.
As a hardcore M product, the M5 CS loses some practicality with the strictly four-seater layout. The rear seats are the same as the front ones with the carbon back and padding. Its black interior is contrasted by various red accents. There’s also plenty of CS badging around the cabin and on each side of the exterior. The front headrests feature the Nürburgring Nordschleife layout so expect some sort of ‘Ring time to be announced soon.
It also gets the yellow L-shaped DRLs in the laser headlights as seen on the M8 Gran Coupe which looks quite menacing with the debut-spec Frozen Deep Green paint finish. The M5 CS carries on the odd trend of 20-inch gold-coloured wheels. Combined with the extra vents, meaner bonnet and added carbon fibre the M5 CS is definitely not a subtle car. I’d love to see how it’d look in the original F80 M5 sleeper spec with the Marina Blue paint and black wheels.
In terms of tech and features, it’s got the same as the M5 Competition with the M-mode buttons behind the steering wheel, the 12.3-inch displays for the instrument cluster and the infotainment system, and drive mode settings.
The BMW M5 CS is a special-edition model that means it’ll likely have a time-bound production run. Prices start from €180,400 which is a premium of nearly €60,000 over the standard M5’s starting price. That’s quite a steep increase and we’ll have to wait for the first reviews to come in to know how different it is to drive with all the factory upgrades. Tuners have already found ways to take an M5 to nearly 1000hp for less money but those mods rarely feel as well-put-together as BMW’s own upgrades.
What do you think of the new M5 CS? Would you have it over the standard M5 or the M5 Competition? Let us know in the comments and don’t forget to subscribe to the Auto Loons for more cool updates from the car world.