The New-Gen BMW M3 CS Breaks Cover

It packs more punch and weighs less than the M3 Competition.

We have the M3, which, for years, has defined sports saloons. Then we have the M3 Competition, which brings in a more spiced-up recipe. And then we have what BMW has unveiled today – the M3 CS. To justify that CS (ClubSport) badge, BMW takes the M3 Competition, adds more power and sheds weight. As a result, the M3 CS is the most hardcore road-legal derivative of the 3 Series.

The punch comes from the same turbocharged 3.0-litre six-cylinder mill that does duty in the M4 CSL. It produces 550hp, 40hp more than the M3 Competition. But at 650Nm, the torque remains the same. An 8-speed automatic transmission feeds the oomph to all four wheels using the xDrive system, an ingredient which was absent in the previous-gen M3 CS. BMW claims that the all-new M3 CS can, from a standstill, hit 100kmph in 3.4 seconds, clock 200kmph in 11.1 seconds and register 302kmph as the top speed.

If you think that the presence of the xDrive system in an M3 CS is like having a layer of water in a bag of crisps (I’m sure not many will like this analogy!), don’t fret because there’s some promising news. Using the M Setup menu, drivers can shift from the default 4WD setting to 4WD Sport. That makes the rear-biased setup even more intense. Another trick is to turn off the DSC altogether and activate the RWD mode.

Obviously, BMW has beefed up the mechanicals to complement the extra grunt. The list includes tuned axle kinematics and bespoke wheel camber settings, dampers, auxiliary springs and anti-roll bars. The standard kit ropes in M Compound brakes with brake callipers in red or black, and the forged M light-alloy wheels (19-inch at the front and 20-inch at the rear) in an exclusive V-spoke design and a Gold Bronze finish. The options list is where you’ll find BMW’s M Carbon Ceramic brakes with gold or red callipers and matt black wheels.

For shedding weight, BMW has given the new M3 CS more bits and pieces made out of carbon fibre-reinforced plastic (CFRP). That includes the roof, bonnet, front splitter, front air intakes, ORVM caps, rear diffuser and rear spoiler. Indoors, the centre console, shift paddles and some other bits are also manufactured using CFRP. Besides that, the exhaust system weighs about 4kg less, courtesy of a titanium silencer. All that adds up to about 20kg of weight saving compared to the BMW M3 Competition.

BMW has even ensured that the new M3 CS stands out with some bespoke touches. For instance, the LaserLight headlights emit yellow light instead of white, which is what BMW’s GT racing cars do. Then the Frozen Solid White metallic paint, which is exclusive to the new M3 CS. Other colour options include Signal Green, Brooklyn Grey and Sapphire Black. Also, the M3 CS badging on the outside is unmissable, especially with the red borders. The same badging indoors makes sure that the occupants do not confuse it with any other M3 derivative.

The new-gen M3 CS will be made in limited numbers, though there’s nothing specific mentioned about the count.

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