Bodystyle, dimensions and technical details

A good dose of exposed carbonfibre and a rather fetching new brightwork colour that BMW calls ‘gold bronze’ are the key material themes in the exterior design makeover of the M5 CS. The car has satin bronze-coloured kidney grilles and wheels; carbonfibre-edged air vents in its new bonnet and front bumper; and an all-new front splitter, boot spoiler, rear diffuser, and door mirror covers in carbonfibre, too.

BMW’s engineering changes have been driven by several aims, one of which is weight-saving. The CS’s carbonfibre-reinforced plastic (CFRP) bonnet, standard-fit 20in forged wheels, standard carbonceramic brakes, interior tweaks and a host of detail revisions have supposedly saved 70kg from the kerb weight of a stock M5 Competition.

Active stainless steel exhaust is claimed to conjure a bolder and more raw audible character for the CS than any F90-generation M5 has. Less sound-deadening in all quarters helps on that score

As we will explain later, it wasn’t a saving that amounted to much on our proving ground scales. But then the M5 CS isn’t some stripped-out circuit special like a BMW M4 GTS but a luxury performance car that comes fully loaded with digital technology and equipment.

The M5 CS has dampers introduced only last year on the BMW M8 Gran Coupé and it features retuned springs and anti-roll bar settings on both axles. Ride height has been cut by 7mm but, more important, BMW claims to have eliminated the “rapidly fluctuating wheel loadings” that could hamstring the ride composure and the limit handling of existing versions of the F90 M5 up to now.

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The car’s engine is an overhauled version of the same 4.4-litre S63 eight-cylinder mill used in the regular M5, as well as in the previous M5 and in the X5 M and X6 M. In the new CS, it sits on the stiffer mounts of the M5 Competition but gains revised turbochargers and higher injector pressures than even that car had. A small additional front oil sump and a variable oil pump have been added to the engine’s package also, to prevent starvation should owners venture onto the track.

The revised V8 makes just 9bhp more than the M5 Competition has. Not much of a bump, you might think. But when, at 626bhp and 553lb ft, its peak outputs make the M5 CS the most powerful road-going BMW that there has yet been, they don’t seem like reasons for complaint.