BMW could be testing a hardcore CS version of the hot M5 sedan, and we have the spy photos to prove it. The white prototype caught testing on the Nurburgring Nordschleife is believed to be it since we can spot several things it has over a regular M5.

It is probably based on the enhanced M5 Competition that’s already on sale but is believed to be even more extreme than that. We think this is the CS because its modifications resembled those BMW made for the M3 and M4 CS.

It could even offer a small power hike over the M5 Competition, on top of the other performance enhancing modifications.

2020 BMW M5 CS Exterior

2020 BMW M5 CS Exterior Spyshots
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The white M5 in this batch of spy photos may look like any other current M5, but taking the time to look at it in detail reveals several unique parts.

Firstly, that rear trunk lid spoiler that’s split in the middle into two separate surfaces and then there are the ceramic brakes - we know it has them because the prototype was wearing gold-painted calipers, a telltale giveaway.

But this is merely a prototype probably testing out mechanical bits deep inside the car, so the final M5 CS, if they do actually build one, may feature additional unique parts, like special lightweight rims (shod in stickier tires which could be wider at the rear) that won’t be available on any other M5.

Suspension could also be dropped and stiffened, if previous CS-badged BMWs are anything to go by, and in conjunction with the stickier rubber should improve cornering ability.

2020 BMW M5 CS Exterior Spyshots
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There could even be more unique aero bits, like that rear spoiler that we’ve not seen before and is not out of the M Performance catalog for the 5-Series.

This prototype also looks like it has the CFRP (a kind of cheaper carbon fiber) roof, however, that is actually an option for any M5 you buy today and was added to the options list last year. The blacked out twin-kidney grille is from the M5 Competition.

BMW could also give it a different exhaust system not only for a more aggressive soundtrack, but also to reduce the car’s weight. Another weight-saving measure could be the use of a carbon fiber engine hood.

2020 BMW M5 CS Interior

2018 BMW M4 CS High Resolution Interior
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Note: BMW M4 CS pictured here.

If we look at what BMW has done to the inside of other CS-badged models, like the M4, for instance, aside from the extra badging and unique trim pieces (most of which will be carbon fiber and some will have M5 CS script on them), the M5 CS may even get lightweight door panes like the M4 CS does.

But, to be fair, it will probably just be visually different to that of the regular M5, although it could certainly be helped by a pair of smaller and lighter front seats - those in the M5 are huge fully-electric armchairs that probably weight a lot, and they could be taken out and replaced with thiner, lighter ones with less adjustability.

If the M3 and M4 CS are anything to go by, expect lots of interior surfaces (including the rim of the steering wheel) to be covered in black suede.

2020 BMW M5 CS Drivetrain

2020 BMW M5 CS Exterior Spyshots
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BMW already sells the M5 Competition which has more power than the standard M5. The output of the twin-turbo 4.4-liter V8 is upped from 600 to 625 metric horsepower (592 to 617 bhp), but torque stays the same at 750 Nm or 553 lb-ft.

The M5 Competition slashes the standard M5’s sprint time to 100 km/h or 62 mph by 0.3 seconds, dropping it from 3.6 to 3.3 seconds.

With the extra power than a possible M5 CS could gain, and the weight shedding, it could drop even closer to the 3 seconds mark - don’t forget all new M5s come with standard all-wheel drive, so traction off the line wouldn’t be an issue.

The eight-speed M Steptronic transmission could also be reprogrammed with more aggressive settings in order to deliver faster and more brutal shifts in its fastest setting.

2020 BMW M5 CS Prices

2020 BMW M5 CS Exterior Spyshots
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BMW will sell you the standard M5 from $102,600 and the Competition package bumps that to $111,000. However, the price difference from Competition to CS could be significantly greater and we have the M4 CS to turn to in order to support this - it is more than 50 percent more expensive compared to the base M4 coupe, since BMW market it as not only being faster and more focused, but also a collectable future classic.

The same could apply to the M5 CS which could cost as much as $150,000.

2020 BMW M5 CS Competition

Cadillac CTS-V

2016 Cadillac CTS-V High Resolution Exterior
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The only car that matches and may still even surpass the M5 CS in terms of power is the excellent Cadillac CTS-V (which is being axed along with the equally good and smaller ATS-V to make way for the CT6-V). Its supercharged V8 engine makes 640 horsepower, but since it is only rear-wheel drive, it only manages to achieve the benchmark sprint in 3.7 seconds.

But there’s a lot more to the CTS-V than its acceleration time and engine power figures - it also handles extremely well and is a real hoot on a track or twisty road, plus it really looks the part too - it takes the clean, contemporary design of the regular CTS sedan and adds bits where it really matters to completely transform its look.

The CTS-V is also fairly light for a vehicle in its class, weighing in at 4,108 pounds or 1,863 kilos, which is less than what a BMW M5 Competition weighs (4,286 pounds or 1,944 kilos).

Read our full review on the 2018 Cadillac CTS-V.

Mercedes AMG E63 S

2018 Mercedes-AMG E63 S - Driven Exterior
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Mercedes offers its AMG E63 either in standard form or in spiced up E63S form - the latter has more power squeezed from its 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8, a grand total of 603 horsepower. Its claimed benchmark sprint time to sixty is 3.3 seconds, so it matches the M5 Competition, although it will be slightly slower to sprint compared to the lighter and faster M5 CS.

The E63 S has standard all-wheel drive, just like the M5, so it can consistently do sprints from naught very efficiently and with little drama. The handling of the E63 S is a blend of precision and hooliganism, with a slight emphasis on the latter, so you’ll see its tail step out on track, even with the traction of the all-wheel drive.

Read our full review on the 2018 Mercedes AMG E63 S.

Lexus GS-F

2016 Lexus GS F
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If, however, power isn’t everything for you, the unique Lexus GS-F is worthy of consideration, especially if you prefer naturally aspirated engines to force-fed ones. The GS-F is motivated by a 5.0-liter V8 with 467 horsepower which is not much compared to similar size rivals, but it sounds much better than any rival V8 and revs past 7,000 rpm.

It also handles pretty well too, and it looks very purposeful and suitable when driven quickly around a track. It’s fun to throw around too, and is overall a rewarding driver’s car. It’s also a bit cheaper than rivals, while at the same time beating them in terms of reliability and owner satisfaction.

Read our full review on the 2018 Lexus GS-F.


2020 BMW M5 CS Exterior Spyshots
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BMW is definitely testing something special on the Nurburgring and if it is the M5 CS then we can only be happy they’re making it. It is supposed to address the M5’s biggest drawback, the fact that it weighs nearly two tons, while at the same time making it even more focused and track worthy.

It will be a collector special for those for whom simply adding the existing Competition Package on the standard M5 isn’t enough and if the price is around 50 percent higher, it may feel prohibitively more expensive for some and really not worth the extra cash.

  • Leave it
    • Could be much more expensive than a regular M5

Further reading

2018 BMW M5 High Resolution Exterior
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Read our full review on the 2018 BMW M5.

2019 BMW M5 Competition Package Exterior Wallpaper quality
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Read our full review on the 2019 BMW M5 Competition Package.

2018 BMW M3 CS Exterior Wallpaper quality
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0 to 60 mph in 3.7 seconds and 174 mph top speed

Read our full review on the 2018 BMW M3 CS.

2018 BMW M4 CS High Resolution Exterior
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Read our full review on the 2018 BMW M4 CS.

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