After releasing a few special editions of the G82 BMW M4 last year, the German carmaker has now focused its attention on the coupe’s sedan sibling and came up with this, the G80 M3 CS. Developed in the same vein as the F90 M5 CS, the new limited production model promises more power, less weight and compelling performance, according to the company.
Under the bonnet, the M3 CS boasts a 3.0 litre twin-turbo straight-six engine that puts out 550 PS (543 hp or 405 kW) at 6,250 rpm and 650 Nm of torque from 2,750 to 5,950 rpm. That’s exactly the same as the M4 CSL we got last May, while also being 40 PS (40 hp or 30 kW) more than a regular M3 Competition.
The power bump is a result of raising the engine’s boost pressure from 1.7 to 2.1 bar, along with revisions derived from the M4 GT3 race car. These includes a crankcase with a sleeve-free, closed-deck construction; weight-saving cylinder bores; a forged lightweight crankshaft; a cylinder head with a 3D-printed core; as well as upgraded oil supply and cooling systems.
Paired with an eight-speed M Steptronic transmission, M xDrive all-wheel-drive system and Active M Differential, the M3 CS will sprint from 0-100 km/h in just 4.4 seconds and hit a top speed of 302 km/h – the latter being a byproduct of the standard M Driver’s Package. If you’re deciding between this or the M4 CSL, the rear-wheel drive coupe is actually slower in the century sprint (3.7 seconds), but has a slightly higher top speed (307 km/h).
Drivers will naturally have several drive modes to choose from, with Sport and Sport+ activating the electrically controlled flaps of the exhaust for a more pronounced engine note. The exhaust system also features a titanium rear silencer with quad exits painted in matte black. Meanwhile, the M xDrive system can be set to 2WD mode if burning tyres is more important than all-paw grip.
Other changes made to the M3 CS include bespoke chassis tuning with specific axle kinematics, wheel camber settings, dampers, auxiliary springs and anti-roll bars. BMW offers M Carbon ceramic brakes as a cost upgrade over the default M Compound brakes, with calipers painted in matte gold or red instead of the lesser option’s red or black.
As for the wheels, they are M light-alloys in an exclusive V-spoke design with a Gold Bronze finish. The staggered setup sees 19-inch units being fitted at the front (with 275/35 profile tyres), while the rear gets 20-inch wheels (with 285/30 profile tyres) – high-performance tyres are available as an option.
In the weight department, BMW says the M3 CS is lighter by some 20 kg compared to an M3 Competition with M xDrive. This is largely due to the use of components made from carbon-fibre reinforced plastic (CFRP) like the bonnet, front splitter, front air intakes, side mirror caps, rear diffuser and rear spoiler.
The roof is also made of carbon-fibre, and while we’re on the exterior, the M3 CS adopts the M4 CSL’s weight-saving, frameless kidney grille. The stripped-back nostrils are highlighted by red contour lines and the ‘M3 CS’ badge, flanked by standard BMW Laserlight headlamps with yellow daytime running lights referencing GT race cars.
You can have the M3 CS in an exclusive Frozen Solid White metallic paint finish, with Signal Green solid, Brooklyn Grey metallic and Sapphire Black metallic being alternatives. Exposed carbon-fibre surfaces can also be optioned with black side skirts and M gills to provide contrast.
Inside, more instances of cutting down the fat can be seen with the M Carbon bucket seats, with carbon-fibre also being used for many trim pieces. Other standard items include an M Alcantara steering wheel with CFRP shift paddles and a red centre marker, an anthracite headliner and BMW Curved Display.
The latest-generation iDrive powered by BMW Operating System 8 is included too, and it incorporates M-specific displays, the M Drive Professional system as well as M Drift Analyser, M Laptimer and M Traction Control functions.
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