With the amount of attention the M4 gets, particularly when it comes to special edition models, you’d be forgiven to think that the two-door coupe is BMW’s favourite child among the two. But for folks who prefer the M3‘s more traditional three-box shape, don’t worry – they aren’t forgetting you too, as BMW has now unveiled the M3 CS, bringing the same M4 CSL recipe to the sedan body style.
That includes extra power, with the 3.0-litre twin-turbocharged inline-six engine underneath the M3 CS’ bonnet now making 550 hp and 650 Nm of torque – 40 hp more than the Competition guise that we get here in Malaysia. The power bump comes from an increased boost pressure from 1.7 to 2.1 bar, along with a new crankcase and lightweight crankshaft, weight-saving cylinder bores, a 3D-printed cylinder head core, as well as upgraded oil supply and cooling systems.
Working together with the eight-speed Steptronic automatic transmission and the M xDrive all-wheel-drive system, the new BMW M3 CS accelerates from a standstill to 100 km/h in just 3.4 seconds, even quicker than the M4 CSL. Top speed, meanwhile, is rated at 302 km/h, courtesy of the standard M Driver’s package.
While it does come with an all-wheel drive system and an active M Differential as standard, the M3 CS can also be switched to a pure rear-wheel drive mode to satisfy your tyre burning needs – with the M Drift Analyser system also built into the infotainment system.
To complement the extra firepower, the BMW M3 CS also includes bespoke chassis tuning, including specially-designed engine mounts, specific axle kinematics, as well as exclusive dampers, springs, anti-roll bars, and wheel camber settings. The brakes are M Compound brakes by default, but customers can also opt for carbon ceramic brakes (with matte gold or red calipers) for even more stopping power, at an extra cost.
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Despite not having ‘Lightweight’ in its moniker, the all-new BMW M3 CS has also undergone a significant weight loss regime, borrowing many of the M4 CSL’s weight-saving parts, such as the littering of carbon fibre reinforced plastic (CFRP) parts both inside and out, including a carbon fibre roof.
It’s not M4 CSL light light, but together with the weight-saving frameless kidney grille, the M3 CS measures in some 20 kg when compared to an M xDrive-equipped M3 Competition. And as we all know, every little kg – aside from the driver’s weight – counts.
For those who are actually spending that extra cash to buy the M3 CS, don’t worry – people will know that you’re driving the pinnacle M3 model. Aside from the exposed carbon fibre bits and ‘M3 CS’ badges all around, the souped up sports sedan also gets the unique yellow daytime-running lights (like the M5 CS) as a nod to the GT race cars, as well as a set of staggered M light-alloys wheels in an exclusive V-spoke design, finished in Gold Bronze for that extra wow factor.
Inside, you get the M Carbon bucket seats as standard, alongside an M Alcantara steering wheel with a red centre marker, plus carbon fibre gearshift paddles for the authentic race car experience. The BMW Curved Display is standard here too, with the iDrive 8.0 operating system incorperating several M-specific displays, including an M Laptimer for your track days.
BMW says it will build the M3 CS in “limited numbers”, but did not reveal the exact number of cars they’re making. We’re guessing it’ll probably be less exclusive than the M4 CSL though, of which just 1,000 units are being built for the entire world.
In the UK, the BMW M3 CS is priced from GBP115,900 (approx RM609k), making it roughly GBP40k (approx RM211k) more expensive than the standard M3 Competition. Production for the sporty sedan will begin in March at the marque’s Munich home.
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