BMW takes the wraps off M5 CS saloon – the most powerful road car it’s ever made

Ultimate is a woefully overused descriptor these days but we reckon BMW’s new M5 CS saloon can lay fair claim to it. A reworked, lightweight version of the extant M5 Competition model, BMW says it’s categorically the fastest accelerating, most powerful road car that it’s ever created.

How powerful? Ten more horse powers than the already well-endowed M5 Competition. Doesn’t sound like much of a hike but that takes it up to a whopping 635bhp. 

How fast? Its 4.4-litre V8 will rocket from nought to 62mph in a neck-snappingly fast 3 seconds. That’s just 0.21 seconds slower than Caterham’s slightly mad 620R two-seater. For a car that can comfortably seat four people, instead of two, in relative comfort (as well as, let’s not forget, their luggage) that’s epically quick.

BMW’s new M5 CS saloon’s 4.4-litre V8 will rocket from nought to 62mph in a neck-snappingly fast 3 seconds…


To help lay all that automotive testosterone onto the tarmac, BMW’s M xDrive four-wheel drive is fitted as standard – there’s the option to pop it into 2WD drive mode for drift-happy sorts but probably best to leave that for track day action. Unsurprisingly, there’s no manual gearbox option, just the tried and tested eight-speed M Steptronic autobox.

The ‘CS’ (shorthand for Club Sport) appellation on an M-sport model invariably signifies that extra weight savings have been made to up responsiveness. In this case BMW has managed to shave an impressive 70kg off the weight of the donor M5 Competition, primarily thanks to the use of a carbon-fibre bonnet, with the same lightweight materials being used to form the snug bucket seats inside. Make no mistake, this wagon still weighs in at 1900kg – that’s nearly two metric tonnes – but hey, every little counts. 

Despite its mass, handling should be near telepathic, thanks to a host of well-considered suspension tweaks. These include re-tuned springs, bespoke engine mounts, a 7mm lower ride height and the addition of adaptive dampers, lifted from the M8 Gran Coupe. With a maximum potential (electronically governed) speed of 189mph, drivers will breathe a sigh of relief that powerful carbon ceramic brakes lurk at the corners. 

To ensure that absolutely everyone knows that you’ve sprung big for a M5 CS, as opposed to a ‘cooking’ M5 Competition, there are a host of visual differences for die-hard Beemer fans to pick up on. At the subtle end of the spectrum, for instance, the headlights glow yellow, motorsport-stylee, when dipped. But the more obvious clues that you’ve bought the range capo de capo are that the kidney grille, 20in wheels and the M Sport ‘gills’ on the wings and bootlid are finished in what’s dubbed as ‘Goldbronze’. It’s gold…

 Available only in one of three paint finishes – matt and shiny variants of Brands Hatch Grey metallic or matt Frozen Deep Green metallic – the M5 CS will hit the showrooms in a matter of weeks, with an OTR price of £140k and a limited production run that finishes at the end of this year. Relatively cheap we say for what amounts to a saloon with true supercar cahoonies…

An experienced PR professional who’s represented some of the world’s best-known technology brands, Kulwinder began his career as a journalist and then editor, with stints on legendary British car magazines Supercar Classics and Fast Lane.

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