THERMAL, Calif. – “This thing is a ballistic missile,” I exclaimed to no one in particular after jumping out of the 2022 BMW M5 CS at The Thermal Club’s South Palms racetrack. I came to roughly the same conclusion 20 minutes earlier, having just finished a less noisy session on a canyon road outside Thermal, California. This beast is A lot by car, no matter how you meet it.
The M5 CS, a one-year limited production version of the M5, is BMWIt is the most powerful and fastest production car ever. With an official 0-60mph sprint of just 2.9 seconds and 627 horsepower, speed was expected and speed was achieved. That said, the total UNlimited production Competition M5 it’s almost as powerful, dragging the CS of just 10 ponies. If you focus too much on that “more powerful” bit, you’ll miss the CS point.
Its true purpose is achieved through the multitude of other changes. BMW put it through a weight-saving program, which is exactly what the large, heavy midsize sedan needed. On the outside, the CS gets a carbon fiber roof, hood, front splitter, rear diffuser, rear spoiler and mirror caps. The unique 20-inch forged (and gold-painted) wheels hide behind the standard carbon ceramic Brakes, saving 51 pounds over the standard brakes of the M5 Competition alone.
Inside, the weight savings come from the theft of the new M3 / M4 carbon fiber back seats – they still have the odd center insert at the bottom of the seat – and the move to a four-seater layout with rear bucket seats. We can definitely say that those rear seats are the coolest on any production car today, and are legitimately functional at holding you back. Of course, you’ll never find five people in an M5 CS.
All these efforts add up to 230 pounds of weight savings over the regular M5 competition, bringing curb weight to 4,114 pounds. It’s still heavy, but it makes competitors like the 4,497 pounds And 63 p pig look in comparison. It is even a little lighter than the equipped manual gearbox CT5-V Blackwing, beating him by 9 lbs. Not bad, BMW.
The chassis has been machined to give it a slightly sharper edge than the competition, as BMW says it tinkered with the spring and adaptive damper adjustment to take advantage of the car’s lower weight. Those gold forged wheels are the same size as the standard M5 Competition wheels, but exclusive to the CS, you can wrap them in Pirelli P Zero Corsa summer tires at no extra cost. Our time on the road and on the track was spent riding the standard Michelin pilot Sport 4S tires, but we recommend opting for the more aggressive Pirelli rubber: this is the CS after all.
Having recently led the standard M5 competition, which sounds like an oxymoron, the CS diet results in a slightly lither M5 which is a a bit’ more eager to change direction ea little less heavy on the nose when braking. The difference in acceleration And noticeably faster than its 0.2 second improvement over the standard Competition would indicate (2.9 seconds versus 3.1), but ultimately there is no hidden revelation behind the CS letters. Considering how good the standard M5 Competition is, a big leap wasn’t exactly necessary.
the CS And better on the track for its greater rigidity and reduced weight. The constant beating of the massive 150 mph carbon-ceramic brakes couldn’t induce any fading or softness to the pedal. It’s not without a little roll or body movement, but the chassis always remains under close control – that’s no small feat for the M5’s size. The steering feel is similar to that of the standard M5 in that it is lacking. It is best to try to listen to the screech of the tires or feel the Gs load to understand where the traction limits are, because the tires don’t speak much through the wheel. Lateral grip is abundant with the MichelinBut once again, the Pirellis would theoretically be much better.
Leave the all-wheel drive and stability control settings in their standard mode and the car locks onto the track, preventing you from getting out of hand. Once you’re comfortable with the car’s power and chassis, however, M Dynamic Mode (MDM) is where you want to be. That loosens the reins on stability control, allowing you to reach some slip angle, but not so much that it points in the other direction. Basically, it lets you take full advantage of those 627 ponies coming out of the corner as you hit the throttle again to catapult yourself to the next corner. If you’d rather ditch all-wheel drive and do burnout or smoky drifts, the CS lets you lock all the power to the rear axle just like standard M5s do.
And boy, is it definitely fun to let your inner child out and go full throttle with the M5 CS. The 4.4-liter twin-turbo V8 gets a new tune to hit the extra 10 horsepower, but torque remains the same as the standard M5 Competition at 553 lb-ft. Redline is still at 7,200rpm, but the maximum torque band is 90rpm compared to the regular M5 Competition. Power delivery is only an ounce smoother in the CS than the regular M5, as it moves through the rev band with one less touch of abrasion. Launch Control starts pushing you into your seat with more immediacy than the competition, which could be as much a result of the lighter weight and tighter tires as the added power. Top speed of 190mph doesn’t seem that far off in thermals, as engine traction beyond 130 and 140mph is still wicked.
Even if you’re not on a track, the M5 CS shines. The BMW that mitigates the brutality of the M5 racing last year is not completely lost on this model, as Comfort mode is still quiet and acceptable to the fatigues of the highway. Its bubbling, roaring exhaust can calm down to wrap around the passenger compartment silently, while the eight-speed transmission silently shifts gears. That said, BMW doesn’t let you load it with extras like the Executive Package or the Professional Driver Assistance Package as you can with non-CS M5s. It’s meant to be the light driver’s M5, not the luxury car.
And while it’s a blast to drive, you might just as much enjoy staring at it parked. BMW has gone all-in on gold accents, applying what it calls a “Gold Bronze” finish to the kidney grille frame and all badges to match the wheels. It is well accented by the racing-inspired yellow daytime running lights. These accents work beautifully in any of the three colors BMW offers: Brands Hatch Gray, Frozen Brands Hatch Gray and Frozen Deep Green. We are personally fans of the Frozen Deep Green pictured, especially with the gold wheels, an exclusive combination of the CS.
Go in and the CS-specific parts are there, but less glamorous than the outside. BMW uses a gray, lined upholstery material that looks a bit like fake carbon fiber. It doesn’t look or feel expensive, and downgrades what would otherwise be an overpriced, over the top, festooned M interior.
“CS” is printed in red on the dashboard and the red stitching continues the black and red theme seen throughout. On the plus side, using the M3 / M4’s carbon fiber M bucket seats was a good move. You sit further down in the car with these seats and there is no chance that you will move with the size and intrusiveness of the cushions. The Nürburgring Nordschleife track map is printed on the headrests of all four seats, perhaps suggesting that you should take yourself and three friends for a ride in the CS on the famous German circuit. Use them to actually navigate while on Nurburgring it is not recommended.
So BMW long last gave the M5 acceptable shifters. The tiny plastic paddles seen on the regular M5 are replaced with giant carbon fiber paddles on the CS. They are super easy to reach and are properly clickable – time to apply these paddles across the M, BMW range.
Just like any recent M model with CS badge, the M5 CS has a big advantage over the standard M5. Compared to the Competition base, the CS costs $ 30,900 more. Remove the jaws from the desk now. Yes, that’s a lot to ask. Equip the M5 Competition as closely as possible to the CS (carbon brakes, updated interior, M driver package etc) and the gap narrows down to $ 16,400. It seems tolerable for a wealthy M5 enthusiast who wants the highest performing and most exclusive M5 they can buy. BMW only sells the M5 CS for one model year, so you’ll have to buy it while it lasts. It’s easily the best looking and most driveable M5 of this G30 generation, but even if you decide not, an M5 competition will bring you about 99% of the driving happiness that the CS offers.