It’s no secret that BMW CCA sponsor Hagerty is making some of the best automotive content these days. Between the brand’s YouTube channel, website, and magazine, there’s something for just about everyone, including those of us who are curious how the latest and greatest performance cars stack up when driven at the limit. The latest episode of Jason Cammisa’s Icons reviews and compares the Cadillac CT5 V Blackwing, the BMW M5 CS, and the Tesla Model S Plaid, although the latter serves as more of a benchmark or data point to illustrate what’s coming next in the automotive saga.
The episode is worth watching, not only because of how engrossing the production quality is, but because the episode also serves as a great explanation of what’s happened to BMW over the last few decades. The M5 CS is the fastest and most powerful BMW yet, but its sheer speed doesn’t guarantee it a win in terms of the overall driving experience. The numbers are exceptional, with the M5 easily beating the more potent rear-wheel-drive CT5 V Blackwing, which is also the fastest and most powerful Cadillac ever, but the clinical nature of how the BMW puts power to the ground and negotiates turns is so effective, it’s become something of a drawback for a brand once known for making the most engaging cars on the road.
Both of the internal combustion engine-powered cars were effectively spanked by the Tesla, which put down the fastest quarter mile time by a wide margin. The Model S Plaid also set a new lap record for a four-door at Willow Springs, but again, the outright speed of the performance EV—which was certainly not built with the track in mind—is by no means a guarantor of its desirability among traditional automotive enthusiasts.
In the end, it’s the driving experience that matters, and even though BMW is currently building its most capable cars, that doesn’t mean they’re the most compelling. There’s no questioning that cars like the M5 CS remain exceptional though, and we’re certainly glad BMW is still making them.—Alex Tock
[Photo courtesy BMW AG. Video courtesy Hagerty.]