The 2022 M5 CS Is the Fastest and Most Powerful BMW Yet

M cars are already fast and sporty BMWs. And if you want one that’s even faster and sharper, the German automaker now offers Competition variants. Like, for example, the BMW M5 Competition, the most powerful road car the company has ever made—up until now. Because that moniker now belongs to the 2022 BMW M5 CS.

The 2022 BMW M5 CS takes the Competition one step further and several pounds lighter

A matte-green 2022 BMW M5 CS in the desert
2022 BMW M5 CS | BMW

The ‘standard’ 2021 BMW M5 has a 4.4-liter twin-turbocharged V8 rated at 600 hp and 553 lb-ft, MotorTrend reports. In Competition trim, the engine makes 617 hp. But the 2022 BMW M5 CS is more powerful still, with 627 hp, MT reports. Officially, it’s the most powerful road-going BMW in the company’s history, Road & Track reports. And the quickest, too.

The 2022 BMW M5 CS is 230 pounds lighter than the Competition, Car and Driver reports. That’s thanks to a hood, front splitter, front seats, rear diffuser and spoiler, and mirror housings made of carbon fiber. And instead of the standard three-person bench seat, the M5 CS has two rear bucket seats. The sedan also has less sound-deadening material, and a fixed center console rather than an opening one, Motor1 reports.

The rear 3/4 view of a matte-green 2022 BMW M5 CS on a desert hill road
2022 BMW M5 CS rear 3/4 | BMW

Like the Competition, the 2022 BMW M5 CS has an 8-speed automatic, active rear differential, and AWD. Combined with the extra power and lower curb weight, the sedan goes 0-60 mph in 2.9 seconds, Autoweek reports. 0-124 mph takes just 10.4 seconds. Though the M5 CS is still ‘only’ limited to 190 mph.

What else does the 2022 BMW M5 CS offer besides sheer speed?

The carbon-fiber front seats and carbon-fiber-trimmed dashboard of the 2022 BMW M5 CS
2022 BMW M5 CS front interior | BMW

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Besides being lighter and more powerful than the BMW M5 Competition, the 2022 CS has a few handling upgrades, The Drive reports.

The sedan has stiffer engine mounts and springs, a lower ride height, a stiffer rear anti-roll bar, and tweaked suspension geometry. BMW actually retuned the sedan’s adaptive suspension to take advantage of the reduced weight, Autoblog reports. Pirelli P Corsa Zero tires are a no-cost option, but the carbon-ceramic brakes and forged wheels are standard. The sedan also has an extra Track driving mode, MT reports.

The rear seats in the 2022 BMW M5 CS
2022 BMW M5 CS rear seats | BMW

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However, despite the weight savings, the 2022 BMW M5 CS is still based on a luxury car. So, those carbon-fiber front seats are heated and ventilated. The interior also has plenty of Alcantara, and the shift paddles are made of carbon fiber. And like the M5 Competition, the CS has a 12.3” infotainment touchscreen and a digital gauge cluster. Plus, it’s the only M5 to get those gold wheels and gold exterior trim as standard.

Is it worth seeking out?

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If you want a 2022 BMW M5 CS, you’ll have to act quickly. It’s a one-year-only model that’s scheduled to hit dealers “in the second half of 2021,” Roadshow reports. And it won’t be cheap.

The standard 2021 BMW M5 starts at a not-insignificant $103,500. The Competition Package adds $7600. However, the M5 CS starts at $142,000 before destination; that’s a $30,900 premium. But is it worth it? Without driving the M5 CS and the ‘standard’ Competition back-to-back, it’s impossible to really tell. But let’s compare it to another lightweight limited-edition version of a stellar performance car: the Honda Civic Type R Limited Edition.

A yellow 2021 Honda Civic Type R Limited Edition driving in front of mountains
2021 Honda Civic Type R Limited Edition | Honda

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You could install all of the Limited Edition’s special parts onto a regular Civic Type R. But because Honda tweaked the hot hatch’s suspension and steering software to match the weight savings, it’s not really possible to clone the Limited Edition.

It’s a similar story with the BMW M5 CS. Some of the carbon-fiber parts are optional accessories on the M5 Competition, as are the carbon-ceramic brakes. But adding them raises the price to slightly under $122k. And you still haven’t included the upgraded tires, the carbon-fiber seats and hood, or the additional suspension modifications. Which, as with the CTR Limited Edition, are partially software-based. So, on a purely mechanical basis, that $30,900 premium may actually be a fair charge.

Ultimately, though, it comes down to one question: do you want to own the most powerful BMW road car made so far?

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