In the five decades since it was founded, BMW’s race-bred performance-focused BMW M division has pulled together an impressive roster of game-changing pace-setting epoch-defining models – from the race-inspired BMW 3.0 CSL that started it all in 1972, through the legendary BMW M3 E46 that defined the brand’s reputation in the 1990s, to today’s deep, broad and well-defined mix of high-tech ultra-potent BMW M saloons, coupe’s, cabriolets and SUVs.
Now, for 2022 – its 50th anniversary – BMW M has pulled together one of the most impressive line-ups of model launches and special editions in its history. So, if you want to join the 50th anniversary celebrations by putting yourself right in the driver’s seat, here are all of the all-new BMW M models that will mark the brand’s big year of celebrations, and why they should be on <your> birthday wish list.
BMW M5 CS
It’s always good to start a big birthday year with a resolution, and it’s clear from the reveal of the limited-run special-edition BMW M5 CS in January that BMW M has lost none of its resolve to lead the way in its quest for ultimate performance. Boasting 635hp and up to 750Nm of torque from its 4.4-litre M TwinPower Turbo V8, it will sprint from 0-62mph in 3.0 seconds on its way to an electronically limited 189mph, making it BMW M’s fastest and most powerful production car to date.
As befits any good new year resolution, the BMW M5 CS has focused on getting leaner, keener and even more stylish for 2022, with lightweight and carbon-fibre components cutting 70kg of weight from a chassis and body that hugs the ground 7mm lower. Equally, shock absorbers from the BMW M8 Gran Coupé, rear-biased M xDrive all-wheel-drive, an Active M differential and M Carbon ceramic brakes contribute to a bespoke chassis tuning.
No wonder our Autocar road test team gave it a much-coveted hard-to-earn five-star review. “The BMW M5 CS is the super-saloon to rule them all,” we said when we celebrated this accolade in our Autocar Awards. “More importantly, it’s the archetypal and defining example of the breed returning to the height of its powers. The way it overlays so much muscular aggression on the normal bones of the BMW 5 Series might be a high-water mark for super-saloon design. It’s the perfect execution of the ordinary made extraordinary.”