2022 BMW M5 CS First Look: Quicker, Lighter, and More Powerful

August 2019. MotorTrend Car of the Year competition. I’m behind the wheel of the Mercedes-AMG GT63S and senior features editor Jonny Lieberman is riding shotgun. As we evaluated the big AMG, I distinctly remember asking him, “where would you ever use all 630 horsepower?” His response was simply, “everywhere.” Clearly, he isn’t the only person who thinks this, because BMW has now given the M5 largely the same amount of grunt. Meet the 2022 BMW M5 CS, now with 627 hp, 553 lb-ft of torque, and way less fat.

In simple terms, the new M5 CS is the most powerful BMW to ever hit public roads. But it’s much more than that. BMW claims a 0-62 mph time of 2.9 seconds and a top speed of 190 mph. Not only that, but the M5 also goes on the Atkins diet in its transition to CS state. The base M5 is a bit of a porker these days, with the last example we tested weighing in at a not inconsiderable 4,268 pounds. Thanks to a carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP) diet, the M5 CS weighs up to 230 pounds less than the 617-hp M5 Competition.

To achieve that weight reduction, BMW molds the M5 CS’s hood, front splitter, rear diffuser, rear spoiler, and roof from CFRP. The hood itself features a power dome and vents, and in combination with the already aggressive front bumper, it gives the CS even more attitude than the “standard” M5. There’s also less sound-deadening material throughout and the whole car is set off by a set of forged Gold Bronze 20-inch wheels.

Other tweaks have been made underneath the skin, too. The CS uses springs that are 10 percent firmer than those of the standard car, it sits 0.2 inch lower to the ground, has a firmer rear anti-roll bar, and dials in slightly more negative camber to the front wheels. Lightweight carbon-ceramic brakes are standard, while the adaptive shocks have been tweaked. Plus, there’s a new Track mode.

Track mode turns off all driver aids, blacks out the infotainment display, and turns off the speakers so the driver can focus on what’s ahead. If you ever plan on using that particular feature set, you’ll certainly appreciate the new carbon-fiber bucket seats. They’re the same heavily bolstered chairs you can spec on the new M3 and M4, but here they’re standard in the M5 CS and are complemented by a rear bench that has the same aggressive look. BMW also stitched the Nürburgring’s logo into the seat’s headrests.

There are a few other interior bits and bobs, too, such as the CS logo emblazoned on the dashboard, an Alcantara-clad steering wheel, and an Alcantara headliner. Oh, and you don’t get a center console anymore. BMW says it’s to reduce weight, but having a place to put your elbow might be worth the extra mass. Production of the $142,995 M5 CS starts in March, with U.S.-spec models due to arrive before the end of 2021. Hey, with great power comes great cost.

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