The BMW M5 has recently been facelifted following updates to the regular 5 Series – and it looks like BMW is preparing a new lightweight Clubsport range-topper for launch.
Spotted lapping the Nürburgring at speed, this lightly camouflaged prototype bears the same subtly restyled front end as the standard M5 – incorporating new headlight designs and slightly wider double-kidney – but bears some styling cues that set it apart.
Aside from the unique angled design of its front grille vanes, the mule has much larger lower air intakes than those of even the current top-rung M5, the Competition. It also hides larger front and rear brake discs behind non-standard performance alloy wheels and sports a subtle rear spoiler and prominent diffuser for enhanced downforce at speed.
Rumours circulating online suggest that any new Clubsport variant of the M5 could pack a newly developed twin-turbocharged V8 for a power boost over the 441kW standard car and the 460kW M5 Competition. Although this is yet to be confirmed, we can be certain that the Clubsport car will be lighter and more track-focused than both existing versions of the M5.
Likely additions – based on the CS version of the smaller M3 – include a carbonfibre front splitter and bonnet, sticky Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tyres, lightweight staggered alloy wheels, Alcantara-trimmed interior elements and bucket-style sports seats. With these features in place, the M3 CS saved 10kg over the standard M3 and offered a much lower centre of gravity.
Elsewhere, we expect a firmer suspension set-up for keener cornering response, carbon-ceramic brakes as standard and a bespoke performance exhaust.
As has been the case with all previous Clubsport M cars, the M5 CS will likely command a significant premium over the standard M5. Although prices for the facelifted car haven’t yet been revealed, we can expect it to start from over $250,000, given the $234,900 price of the current M5 Competition.