BMW’s one-off M5 CSL – a helluva way to go

Published: 29 October 2009

This is a one-off BMW M5 with close to 600bhp. Built to commemorate the 25th anniversary of BMW’s iconic M5 super-saloon, it’s a stripped-out lightweight special that shows what M Division could have done if it hadn’t built the X5 M and X6 M.

Details, quickly please! I’m slobbering over this new BMW M5 already!

Let’s start with the engine. As if the 500bhp/384lb ft 5.0-litre V10 wasn’t incredible enough, BMW’s M Division has stroked it out to 5.5-litres. Add in a new carbonfibre manifold and the outputs have risen to over 580bhp and nearly 400lb ft.

And to cope with that extra power BMW has junked the sequential-manual gearbox and brought in a beefed-up version of the M3’s seven-speed dual-clutch M DCT ‘box.

Inside the gearbox is linked to a pair of paddles, while the driver and front-seat passenger sit in new carbonfibre-backed buckets. There’s also a new carbonfibre roof – that cleaves a claimed 50kg of the E60 M5’s 1855kg kerbweight – and the rear seats have been junked. There’s also been a tweak to the specification of the adaptive suspension.

Bar M Division’s triple-stripe colour scheme, and some stickers celebrating 25 years of the M5, this one-off looks little different to the standard car. The only visual clue is the offset number plate, which makes way for an new intake that feeds air to the extra oil cooler.

Expect this special E60 M5 to hit 62mph in close to four seconds, and easily top 200mph. We also hear it’ll lap the Nurburgring in under eight minutes, a comfortable 20 seconds or so quicker than the standard car.

But BMW isn’t going to produce this, so we’ll just have to wait for the new twin-turbo V8 M5.

By Ben Pulman

CAR's editor-at-large, co-ordinator, tallboy