by Karl Furlong
The new BMW M5 CS initially appears to be a bit of a raw deal alongside its standard M5 sibling. You need to spend close to $40,000 more and all you get in return is 27 more horsepower, a 0-60 mph time that's quicker by 0.3 seconds, and one less seat. Your son or daughter in middle school will likely be able to tell you that this is a particularly poor return on your much pricier investment. But the M5 CS is a sports sedan for thrill seekers, not accountants. This is BMW's M Division reminding Mercedes-AMG and Audi's RS division that when it isn't trying to appeal to all people, it can still make the number one sports sedan in the world. With its twin-turbo V8 tuned to deliver 627 hp, a reduction in weight over the normal M5, and a 0-60 time of under three seconds, the M5 is the quickest and most powerful BMW M car ever and more than a match for the Mercedes-AMG GT 63 rather than a mere AMG E63 or Audi RS7. But even these startling numbers are overshadowed by the manner in which the CS drives. It's infinitely more engaging and lighter on its feet than even the M5 Competition, doing away with the muted, numb sensations of the non-CS model. Calculators and spreadsheets can only tell you so much - on a quiet, twisty road or preferably a race track, the complex equation that is the M5 CS suddenly makes all the sense in the world.
The 2022 BMW M5 CS is an all-new arrival. It's not only the fastest and most powerful M5 yet, but also a new benchmark for BMW M in general. The 4.4-liter twin-turbo V8 makes 627 hp, more than any other BMW power plant currently in production. It's gone on a diet too, with BMW managing to cut 230 pounds of weight relative to the M5 Competition. Stiffer engine mounts, 10% firmer springs, and a lower ride height than normal all contribute to its more engaging handling. Outside, Gold Bronze detailing around the grille and forged wheels announce the presence of this very special sedan, while the interior seats just four, with even those at the back getting racy individual seats. The M5 CS will only be produced for the 2022 model year.
See trim levels and configurations:
4.4L Twin-Turbo V8 Gas
The M5 CS inherits the latest design upgrades made to the regular 5 Series but also introduces a few elements to distinguish it from the standard M5. It's not an overly flamboyant design but it is certainly less polarizing than some other new BMWs, and we'd rather have it that way. For the CS, the famous grille gets a Gold Bronze finish. This is complemented by 20-inch M light-alloy wheels in the same Gold Bronze color. Behind these wheels are M carbon-ceramic brakes. Weight-saving measures include a roof, hood, and mirror caps in carbon fiber reinforced plastic. At the back, there's an M carbon rear spoiler and large quad tailpipes. Adaptive headlights are standard and the L-shaped light tubes have a yellow hue instead of the usual white. It's an attractive sedan with just enough touches to hint at its greater performance potential.
Part of the reason that the latest 5 Series hasn't been as involving to drive as prior iterations of the model is simply because it's grown so much in size. This is reflected in the dimensions of the M5 CS. It's 196.9 inches long, measures 74.9 inches in width excluding the mirrors, and has a height of 57.8 inches. The wheelbase is 117.4 inches. Compared to the normal M5, the ride height is lower by 0.2 inches.
At 4,115 pounds, the M5 CS sedan isn't a light vehicle but it's a healthy 230 lbs lighter than the standard M5. The carbon-ceramic brakes alone save 51 lbs over the M compound brakes fitted to the M5 Competition.
As standard, the BMW M5 CS is finished in Brands Hatch Grey metallic paint. The limited color palette includes two options from BMW Individual: Frozen Brands Hatch Grey metallic and Frozen Deep Green metallic. These exclusive colors cost $5,000 each and further differentiate the CS from the normal M5, which can be had in more common shades like black and white. For a bit more glitz, gold-painted brake calipers can be added at no extra cost.
If you cared about nothing else but straight-line speed, the BMW M5 CS shoots to the top of its class. Now producing 627 hp and 553 lb-ft of torque, the 4.4L twin-turbo V8 directs its power via an eight-speed automatic transmission to BMW's M xDrive all-wheel-drive system. With launch control, it'll rip its way from 0-60 mph in just 2.9 seconds, 0.2 seconds quicker than the M5 Competition. The standard M Driver's Package raises the top speed to 190 mph. Wisely, this package includes a voucher for the owner to take advantage of some driver training from a professional.
The Mercedes-AMG E63 S takes 3.3 seconds for the benchmark sprint and the Audi RS6 Avant requires 3.5 seconds. For now, the M5 CS is the speed king of its segment.
Like the regular M5, the M5 CS makes use of a 4.4-liter twin-turbo V8 but in this application, it makes 627 hp and 553 lb-ft of torque. By comparison, the normal M5 generates 600 hp and the M5 Competition has 617 hp. All three models have the same torque output, but the M5 CS's torque band is 90 rpm wider than that of the M5 Competition. In the CS, the familiar wave of torque from low down means that you don't need to floor it to make incredibly rapid progress, yet it has a 7,200 rpm redline so if space allows, you can extend the V8 if you wish. To ensure it can stand up to the rigors of track use, there is liquid-to-air intercooling for both turbos and an oil system with dual pumps.
The mighty V8 is paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission and, using the Drivelogic switch, drivers can choose between various modes, including Efficient, Sport, or Track. The latter is best for track environments with its lightning-quick shifts, while in other modes, the transmission remains smooth. Although the M5's V8 has never sounded quite as brawny as Merc's AMG unit, it has a more aggressive snarl in the CS thanks to a dual-branch, electric flap-controlled sport exhaust system. Less sound deadening than in the normal M5 also doesn't hurt but by using the M Sound button, you can control how loud you want it to be.
It goes without saying that the M5 CS is a viciously fast sedan. Mid-range response is exceptional, so passing slower traffic in the city or at highway speeds is shockingly easy. Applying full throttle in this car will require more space and less traffic than the average road provides, such is the rate at which you cover ground.
The near-flawless powertrain is matched by the best chassis tuning that has come out of this generation of the M5. Yes, the new M5 CS is tangibly more fun and capable than the standard car. BMW has equipped it with 10% firmer springs, a lower ride height, stiffer engine mounts, and a firmer anti-roll bar at the back. Throw those sticky Pirelli Zero Corsa high-performance tires and the weight reduction into the mix, and it's clear why the new M5 CS feels so different from the driver's seat.
All of these elements combine to make the M5 CS feel a lot more precise than the M5 or M5 Competition. Where the Competition's rear axle becomes unsettled more quickly, the CS remains utterly controlled in its movements. The front-end bites hard and although the steering still isn't brimming with feedback, its responsiveness is spectacular. In 4WD Sport, perhaps the best of the drive modes, more power is sent to the rear axle, allowing for fun, crushingly effective corner exits without losing control, and you can sense just a little oversteer. Switching the xDrive system into RWD-only mode requires a skilled driver, but they'll be rewarded with a car that remains remarkably manageable.
When you're on your way home from the track and have everything switched over to their most comfortable settings, the M5 CS impresses you once more. Yes, there is an underlying firmness to the ride, but it remains a steady, smooth cruiser and is quiet enough to be used for longer trips out of the city. The brakes, too, are up to the job. The M5 CS encourages you to push harder for longer, but it can stop with just as much confidence. If there is a criticism, it's that the conventional automatic can't quite match the crisp responses of the car's steering and engine. A DCT would've made this an even more memorable driver's car, but as it is, the new M5 CS is a triumph.
The BMW M5 CS was never going to be a fuel-sipper but thankfully, there is no price to pay for choosing this over the normal M5 as both cars have the same gas mileage figures of 15/21/17 mpg city/highway/combined.
A 20.1-gallon gas tank allows for a range of just over 340 miles in mixed driving conditions.
With its latest M cars, BMW has worked harder to make them stand out from the models they're based on. We've seen this with the M3 and M4 cabins which feature some eye-popping colors and extreme bucket seats, and while the M5 CS retains a more mature color scheme, a lot has changed in the cabin. The biggest change is the deletion of the rear bench for two dedicated bucket seats, reducing the seat count to four. In front, there are grippy M carbon bucket seats with power side bolsters, and there is a lovely mix of Merino leather and Alcantara. It's well-stocked with features like a head-up display, a digital gauge cluster, four-zone climate control, and heated front seats.
The seats steal your attention as soon as you climb into the BMW M5 CS for the first time. The M carbon buckets in front have a hump in the middle between your thighs and have massive power side bolsters. They instantly make you feel primed for some hard driving and are incredibly supportive, although we can't imagine they'd be as comfortable as a normal M5's seats on extended journeys. Rear-seat passengers get their own supportive bucket seats, so families of five will have to shop elsewhere. In all seating positions, there is ample legroom and headroom. With a memory system linked to the power-adjustable steering column, you can easily find and save your preferred driving position.
As standard, the M5 CS comes with full Merino leather and Alcantara upholstery in a black finish. The aggressive look is relieved by the red CS logo dotted around the cabin and aluminum dark carbon structure interior trim. Red stitching elsewhere relieves the primarily dark environment. All four seats have headrests with an imprint of a Nurburgring Nordschleife map, a not-so-subtle hint at the CS's 7:29.57-minute effort, although this isn't the quickest effort among sport sedans.
The driver controls the car via a fat M Alcantara steering wheel with a 12 o'clock marker, carbon fiber shift paddles, and the distinctive red M1 and M2 buttons that can be used to instantly call up your favored driving settings. Finally, there is an Anthracite Alcantara headliner. Although all these racy finishes may seem gimmicky to some, what has not been compromised is the build integrity of the normal 5 Series - few sedans feel as well put together as this one.
Pop open the trunk lid and you'll find a well-designed space measuring 14 cubic feet. It's more than enough for weekly trips to the store or to accommodate large suitcases on business trips away. Standard hands-free opening of the power trunk lid also makes it easier to load the car when your hands are full.
The large center console has been removed to save weight, but large door pockets and cupholders remain. At the back, the two passengers have an additional small storage place between their bucket seats. With glossy carbon fiber front seatbacks, there are no usual map pockets back there.
BMW may have saved weight in a number of key areas, but the M5 CS is still a 5 Series and comes equipped with a long list of convenience and safety features. The M carbon bucket seats in front are 10-way power-adjustable and include power side bolsters, backlit M5 logos, three-stage heating, and a memory system for the driver's seat linked to the power-adjustable steering column. Other features include adjustable ambient lighting, four-zone automatic climate control, keyless entry with hands-free opening of the trunk, push-button ignition, wireless charging, remote engine start, and a universal garage door opener.
The safety specification includes a rearview camera, forward collision warning, active blind-spot detection, lane departure warning, and front/rear parking sensors.
BMW's Live Cockpit Professional pairs a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster with a 12.3-inch central touchscreen running iDrive 7.0 software. A standard color head-up display has a special M View and, when Track mode is selected, the center display switches off to reduce driver distractions. With a touchpad, a touchscreen, and programmable bookmarks, the iDrive system is easy to use once you've adjusted to the many layers of its menu structure.
When you aren't setting record lap times, you can enjoy features like Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, a Wi-Fi hotspot, SiriusXM with 360L, navigation, and Bluetooth. A 464-watt, 16-speaker Harman Kardon sound system is standard.
There have been no recalls for the 2022 M5 CS as yet. The 2021 M5 was recalled just once for an obscured rearview camera image, so hopefully this scarcity of serious issues filters through to the newer CS which is based on the normal M5.
Like other BMWs, the M5 CS comes with a four-year/50,000-mile limited warranty, four years of roadside assistance, and three years or 36,000 miles of complimentary scheduled maintenance.
There is no review of the 2022 BMW M5 CS by the NHTSA and this is unlikely to change at any point in the future. The same applies to the IIHS. However, the latter agency did review the 2021 5 Series, giving us some idea of how the M5 CS will perform in a crash. The news is positive as the 5 Series attained the maximum Good score in every crashworthiness test.
NHTSA safety ratings are not available at this time.
The M5 CS has a suite of six airbags that includes dual-threshold, dual-stage front airbags and front side airbags. It also comes with a rearview camera, dynamic stability control, and M carbon ceramic brakes. BMW's Active Protection System comes with a fatigue and focus alert feature, should you somehow accomplish the feat of dozing off behind the wheel of the M5 CS. This system also prepares the car for an imminent crash and activates post-crash braking.
The Active Driving Assistant bundles together forward collision warning with pedestrian warning, active blind-spot detection, lane departure warning, speed limit info, rear cross-traffic alert, and automatic high beams. Adaptive LED headlights and front/rear parking sensors are included as well.
The 2022 BMW M5 CS is easily the best example of the current F90 M5 generation, and that's high praise considering that the standard model can hardly be described as a disappointing car. That CS moniker is much more than two extra letters tacked onto the trunk lid - this is a more focused, faster, lighter, less clinical sedan than the standard M5. There's an immediacy to its responses that is thrilling, yet it hasn't come at the expense of the sedan's ability to cruise quietly at the speed limit all day long. On the downside, it's very expensive, the automatic transmission lacks the razor-sharp responses of a dual-clutch, and only three of your friends can come along for the ride. None of these factors ends up being a dealbreaker, because the CS treatment has elevated the M5 above its AMG and RS-badged rivals. BMW's fastest and most powerful M car ever more than lives up to the hype and if you can afford one, you won't be disappointed.
In the USA, the BMW M5 CS has a price of $142,000. This MSRP excludes a destination charge of $995. That's quite a bit more than the base M5, which starts at $103,500 before adding the $7,600 Competition package. Also more affordable is the Mercedes-AMG E63 S - as a 2021 model, it starts at $107,500.
Available for just a single model year, the 2022 BMW M5 CS comes in just one trim too. The 4.4-liter twin-turbo V8 engine has been massaged to produce 627 hp and 553 lb-ft of torque. Paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission and the rear-biased M xDrive AWD system, it'll reach 60 mph in 2.9 seconds.
The exterior features Gold Bronze detailing around the grille, 20-inch Gold Bronze wheels, an M carbon rear spoiler, and an M carbon roof. It also gets a separate color palette from the normal M5.
Four bucket seats highlight a sportier interior that is enlivened by red stitching and CS logos. It features a mix of Merino leather and Alcantara. Standard features include dual 12.3-inch screens, 10-way power front seats with heating, four-zone climate control, remote start, lane departure warning, blind-spot monitoring, and a color head-up display.
Unlike the regular M5, the M5 CS has fewer options as it already includes the M Driver's Package and Competition Package as standard equipment. Besides the paint, you can also choose from gold-painted brake calipers and the no-cost option of Pirelli P Zero Corsa tires. Basically, the M5 CS is set up perfectly straight from the factory and doesn't require any tinkering to make it a magical sports sedan.
There are no other trims or configurations so you should probably buy the first M5 CS you can get your hands on, before production ceases. We'll have ours in Frozen Brands Hatch Grey metallic with the Pirelli tires.
If the M5 CS is BMW's wildest four-door model, could the AMG GT 63 S be the same for Mercedes? It certainly makes a strong case for itself. Whether or not you buy into the four-door coupe concept, the GT 63 S is a heck of a looker and it backs up its looks with some serious firepower. The boisterous V8 makes 630 hp and 664 lb-ft of torque, more than the M5 CS, but the Merc is heavier so takes two tenths longer to reach 60 mph. The GT 63 S also astounds through the corners and has its own RWD mode for on-demand smoky burnouts. Plus, it also has a stunning interior and there are more options to tailor the cabin exactly as you want it. But the improvements BMW has made from the M5 to the M5 CS are so impressive, it's more exclusive as it will only be made for one year, and the price of the M5 CS is nearly $20,000 cheaper than the 2021 GT 63 S. We'll take the BMW.
The BMW M8 Coupe temporarily took a hiatus for the 2021 model year but it's back as a 2022 model. Relieved of its rear doors, the sleeker M8 will appeal to buyers who don't need the practicality of a sedan. Now only available in Competition specification, the M8's V8 makes 617 hp and it's just a tenth of a second slower to 60 mph, so there's nothing in it between these two, although the CS has a higher top speed as it gets the M Driver's Package as standard. The M8 Competition coupe is very agile for its size but doesn't feel as raw and connected as the M5 CS. Even the sensation of sitting in its softer seats doesn't evoke the same reaction as slipping into the CS's carbon buckets. At the back, the M8 Competition's cramped seats make the M5's second row feel like an amphitheater. Once you've specced M carbon buckets and the M Driver's Package for the M8 Competition, it's nearly as expensive as the M5 CS. We'll happily take the sedan.
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