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Road and track – BMW M5 CS review

The CS suffix has been used recently by BMW’s Motorsport in-house tuning division to identify special M cars and the  limited-edition 2024  M5 CS here, dates back to 2021 and fully loaded, as our test car was, would set you back some £140,00. So here might be a good opportunity to seek out a used model which may be at least back in five figures – if you can find one.
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25 April 2024

What is it?

A continuation of the lineage of legendary BMW CS which stands for Club Sport the designation given to exclusive BMW M models equally at home on road and track.

The CS suffix has been used recently by BMW’s Motorsport in-house tuning division to identify special M cars and the  limited-edition 2024  M5 CS here, dates back to 2021 and fully loaded, as our test car was, would set you back some £140,00. So here might be a good opportunity to seek out a used model which may be at least back in five figures – if you can find one.

One BMW enthusiast parked his M3  next to mine at the supermarket and said this was the first M5 CS he had seen “in the wild”.

 So what are you getting for your money? Basically a track ready racer, power by a monster 4.4-litre V8 engine which produces a massive 626hp of torque which translates into a 0-62mph acceleration time of 3.4 seconds and a top speed limited to 155mph.

This, therefore, achieves BMW’s M Division’s aim of producing a very special performance car – the most powerful road-going BMW – the ultimate M5.

There’s liberal use of carbon-fibre and spectacular paintwork which make this car stand out, as do the satin bronze-coloured kidney grilles and wheels while there are  carbonfibre-edged air vents in the bonnet and front bumper. There’s also  a new front splitter, boot spoiler, rear diffuser – even the  door mirror covers are carbonfibre.

All this is part of the M Division’s weight saving measures which extend to a carbon fibre-reinforced plastic bonnet, standard-fit 20in forged wheels, standard carbon ceramic brakes while inside you’ll find lightweight seats and a host of other weight-saving details. img 1352

The steering wheel is wrapped in Alcantara, there’s red stitching for the car’s leather trim and a general high quality feel and look to the materials. While the front seats feature cut-outs, again to keep weight down, they also feature hard carbonfibre inserts. Those seats position you very low down immediately giving you a feeling of sportiness, but they are very supportive and comfortable over a long journey.

Passenger accommodation is restricted to four with rear bucket seats with no middle cushion or third seat belt in the back. Just for the record, you can’t fold those rear seats down either.

What do we think?

Well, wow to start with. The M5 CS certainly looks the part and is stunning to drive. The engineers have been very clever in producing a car that really is at home on road and track. In normal, every day driving conditions it drives and handles like a pussy cat.

It’s all very controlled and sophisticated, jam your foot down to get out into the traffic and there’s instant grip and acceleration. On the country roads the M5CS  can very very entertaining thanks to both the grip and the body control – no rock and roll here. You will feel the lumps and bumps however, largely down to those (very) low profile tyres.

You can actually switch off  some of the driver assistance and turn the CS into a rear-drive saloon which will make the corners even more interesting, but this car is at its best in four-wheel drive Sport mode.
In terms of fuel economy, don’t even think about it. Even driving reasonably sedately you can almost watch the fuel gauge needle drop. I have heard of a colleague getting through a tankful in under 150 miles, but he was not driving particularly sedately!
Seating, while looking sporty, is very supportive and comfortable, although those of a certain age will find getting in and out some what inelegant, while getting to the rear seats require some minor gymnastics.
The M5 CS is quite a bit more expensive than a standard M5, but then this is a very special car as as my supermarket car park friend pointed out, you don’t see many in the wild – you have to pay for exclusivity.

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Chris Wright

Chris Wright

Chris Wright has been covering the automotive industry nationally and internationally for 30 years. Following spells with consumer titles he became News Editor of Automotive Management (AM), Editor of Automotive International, International Editor for Detroit-based Automotive News, and Editor of Dealer Update. He has also co-authored several FT Management Reports and contributes regularly to Justauto.com

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