Typically, the BMW that competes with the Audi RS7 Sportback is the M8 Gran Coupe, considering both are four-door “coupes”. However, Audi’s Bavarian neighbors have just dropped a hardcore, track-ready version of the M5 and it just doesn’t seem right comparing it to the M5’s usual competition, the Audi RS6 Avant. So instead, we’re leaving it to the better looking, lighter RS7 to take on the all-new BMW M5 CS.
The BMW M5 CS is designed more for the Nurburgring than it is the school run. Admittedly, it barely has any more power than the standard M5 Competition, with 627 horsepower and 553 lb-ft, a gain of just ten horsepower and zero torques. However, it’s dropped a considerable amount of weight, thanks to a carbon fiber roof, hood, aerodynamics and new lightweight bucket seats. So its claimed 0-60 mph time is a shockingly quick 2.9 seconds.
Unfortunately for Audi, there is not a true equivalent to the M5 CS in its lineup. While the Audi RS7 Sportback is monstrously fast, it can’t match the M5 CS’s astonishing turn of pace. The RS7 makes 591 horsepower and 590 lb-ft from its 4.0 liter twin-turbo V8 but it can only hit 60 mph in the low-to-mid three-second range.
However, where the Audi RS7 Sportback claws back is in its looks. While the BMW M5 CS is a good looking, exciting car, the RS7 is a stunner, genuinely jaw-dropping. It also gets a liftback tailgate, making it more practical.
Speaking of practicality, the BMW M5 CS loses some compared to its normal siblings. Rather than a normal three-seat rear bench, the M5 CS gets to racing bucket seats in the back, similar to those in the front. The Audi RS7 does have a traditional rear bench, which is more useful but far less special.
Typically, when any BMW is compared to any modern Audi, in terms of style, the advantage almost always goes to the latter. However, in this case, I don’t think that can be said. While the Audi RS7 Sportback is the better looking car on the outside, there’s a cool factor, a specialness, to the M5 CS that the RS7 can’t match. Much of that comes from the interior, and the back seats in particular, but it’s a specialness that can’t be denied.