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BMW’s perfect storm: The new 626bhp M5 CS Hero Front

BMW’s perfect storm: The new 626bhp M5 CS

The perfect storm has come ashore as order books open for the BMW M5 CS. The recently-revealed M5 CS is a hard core, lightweight version of the ‘regular’ M5 Competition saloon.

Boasting more power, an upgraded chassis and revised styling, pricing for the M5 CS starts from £140,780, with first deliveries expected in spring. 

The new, omnipotent M5 becomes the latest BMW to wear the brand’s iconic CS (Club Sport) badge, last seen on the M2 CS. When it goes on sale, the M5 CS will be a direct rival for the range-topping Porsche Panamera Turbo S and high-performance saloons like the Mercedes-AMG E 63 S and Audi RS6.

Styling revisions to separate the M5 CS from the standard car include a bespoke 20-inch alloy wheel design and a new quad exhaust system. Gold ‘M5 CS’ badges are dotted around the bodywork as well, with matching gold detailing on the front grille surround and side gills located on the front wings. A new yellow-tinted LED headlight design also features and will form part of the CS-signature in future models. 

To help reduce the car’s overall kerb weight, BMW has replaced several body panels with carbon fibre reinforced plastic (CFRP), including the front splitter, bonnet, wing mirror caps, rear spoiler and rear diffuser. A handy 70kg (155 lbs) – or one complete Bryan Adams – was shed as a result. The car’s carbon ceramic brakes are also lighter than the steel brakes used on the regular car, saving an additional 23kg. 

Power comes from the same bi-turbo 4.4-litre V8 petrol engine as deployed in the regular M5 Competition, but a modified ECU raises power by 10bhp to 626bhp. To cope with the stresses of track use, it has stiffened engine mounts and received modifications to both the cooling and oil supply system.

As a result of these engineering tweaks, the M5 CS manages 0-62 mph in a flat three seconds, which equates to a 0.3 second improvement over the M5 Competition. Top speed is electronically limited to 189 mph. 

Like the standard M5, BMW’s xDrive four-wheel drive system distributes power to all four wheels via an eight-speed automatic cogbox. The driver can choose to vary the power delivery to the front and rear axles, or disengage the front wheels entirely to send all of the power to the rear wheels (and that would be a brave fellow, indeed!.

Chassis tweaks include a revised suspension setup that’s borrowed from the M8 Gran Coupé, which rides seven millimetres lower than the standard car. A set of Pirelli P Zero high-performance tyres also feature as standard, along with carbon ceramic brakes to help improve stopping power.

The interior of the BMW M5 CS features a pair of lightweight carbon fibre racing seats, along with Alcantara trim on the steering wheel and carbon fibre paddle shifters. Merino leather and red contrast stitching also features throughout the interior, along with matching red trim on the seats. 

At the rear, the standard bench has been replaced by a pair of sporty looking individual seats, making the car strictly a four-seater. Other changes include unique ‘M’ inspired seat belts with red and blue stitching, and illuminated door sills sporting the ‘M5 CS’ logo. 

Both the infotainment screen and digital instrument cluster are 12.3-inches in size and feature a unique graphic display for ‘Road’ and ‘Sport’ driving modes. Switching the car into Sport mode brings up the ‘M View’ display in both the digital instrument cluster and head-up display which adds speed, engine revs and the current gear. The steering wheel mounted red ‘M1’ and ‘M2’ buttons can be customised to switch between different chassis modes by the driver.

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By Wayne Gorrett

Wayne has been covering developments in the UK's automotive sector for over 10 years, providing news, reviews, first-drive impressions and opinion pieces for a number of print and web outlets in the UK and South Africa. A former marketing director, Wayne is based in a rural village near Winchester, Hampshire. You can follow him on Twitter: @WaynesWorldAuto Facebook: WaynesWorldAuto Instagram: WaynesWorldAuto