The Fastest Car In BMW's Lineup Might Surprise You

BMW's top-of-the-line performance vehicle is the M8, which launched in 2019, the lineup featuring the M8 Coupe, M8 Competition Coupe, M8 Convertible, and M8 Competition Convertible. All of these vehicles feature a twin-turbocharged 4.4-liter V8 in various states of tune. Each puts down the same amount of torque, and all are equipped with BMW's M xDrive AWD system, but the Competition variants deliver 25 more horsepower, and maintain their peak torque numbers higher into the rev range. 

When it comes to the high-performance lineups of popular performance brands, like BMW, it's easy to assume that the top-end is going to represent the fastest vehicles, but that's not necessarily always true, and the BMW M5 Competition Sport is the perfect example of this, given that it outclasses BMW's top-end M8 Competition, even if just barely. 

In 2021, BMW launched the BMW M5 Competition Sport as the most powerful BMW M car, and that claims is not for nothing. The limited edition M5 CS comes equipped with the same turbocharged 4.4-liter V8 in the M8 Competition. The difference when it comes to the M5 CS is that the V8 power plant now churns out a whopping 635 HP and 553 lb-ft. of torque. 

The horsepower numbers may be close, but there's more to the story

Aside from the small power boost in the engine, the BMW M5 CS also has a reduced weight compared to the M8 Competition, coming in at just 4114 lbs — 181 lbs lighter than the M8 Competition in its lightest garb. 

The BMW M8 Competition gets from zero to 60 mph in just 3.0 seconds, while the M5 CS does the same in 2.9 seconds. This is not a massive difference on paper, but real-world tests seem to make a better case for the M5 CS. Carwow did a head-to-head comparison between the M5 Competition, M5 Competition Sport, and the M8 Competition, and the results speak for themselves. While the M8 put up a fantastic showing, the M5 CS beat it in every metric, from acceleration to top speed, and even braking, thanks to the M Carbon Ceramic Brakes and low weight. 

Acceleration is one thing, and arguably more important than top speed, but it's important to note that not only is the M5 CS quicker off the line, but its top line is also faster. Out of the box, the M5 CS has a top speed of 190 mph, while the M8 Competition peters out at 155 mph. BMW's M Driver's Package increases top speed limit from 155 mph to 190 mph, and while the M Driver's Package is standard equipment in the M5 CS, it's an add-on for the M8 Competition.