BMW M3 CS Confirmed
BMW confirmed one of the car world’s worst-kept secrets – the go-faster sedan is to get the same CS treatment as the M4 and will be called the M3 CS.
The M4 CS has been a huge critical success for the brand, with a harder, sharper chassis and torquier engine. The CS washed away the (sometimes bizarre) criticism of the high-priced M4 GTS with a more practical, manageable proposition, along with a big price cut. Some countries got a bigger price cut than others…
M3 CS Specs
The CS badge on the back of the M3 CS means quite a number of changes, both under the bonnet and under the skin. First, a bit of history.
The CS is based a little bit on the M4 GTS and a lot on the M3 Competition.
The M4 GTS’s spec was expensive and lightweight and the two are closely related. The exhaust was a super-expensive titanium unit, the interior was missing a lot of stuff – including the back seats – to both reduce weight and fit a gorgeous and pricey roll cage/fire extinguisher package.
Power was massive, 368kW (not far off 300hp) and 600Nm of torque from BMW’s twin turbo straight six. The standard M3 produces 317kW (440hp) and the Competition is rated at 331kW (460hp).
All this was packed in to a bodyshell further lightened by keeping the carbon fibre reinforced plastic (CFRP) roof and adding the same material for the bonnet.
Power is up on the twin turbo straight-six by 10hp/7kW to 460hp/338kW. The big news is the 50Nm jump in torque to the GTS’s 600Nm. The character of the engine – as installed in the M4 CS – is much more aggressive. Coupled with BMW’s 7-speed twin-clutch, it revs like a banshee and is properly mental. The CS version of the gearbox shifts sharper and hard, the more relaxed DSC means it’s a bit of fun in the wet. The M4 CS lights up the rears between the gears and it’s hilarious, wet or dry.
The GTS’s titanium exhaust is replaced with a stainless steel unit. Yes, it’s heavier but, wow, is it cheaper. The loss of the water injection unit also significantly reduces the cost.
BMW says you’ll crack the 0-100km/h (0-62mph) run in 3.9 seconds, which is nice. And on to 280km/h (174mph).
Wheels and Tyres
Of course, power hits the road through the rear wheels as is only right and proper. Like the GTS, the rears measure 20-inches, wrapped in semi-slick Michelin Sport Cup 2 rubber. They’re 285/30s, if you’re wondering.
The fronts are down an inch to 19-inches, like the Competition package, with 265/35s. The wheels are smaller, BMW says, to improve steering feel and in the CS, that is definitely a thing. They’re made of forged alloy and look fantastic.
Much of the Competition’s chassis tweaks are carried up to the CS, but with detail changes to the adaptive damper-equipped suspension. In the M4 these are largely successful, with only a small penalty in the ride but delivering a properly fleet-footed feel.
A more aggressive Active M diff coupled with a less uptight DSC systems means plenty of fun on tap. Tweaked steering setting should herald more feel and with a bit of luck won’t be as heavy as the M4 CS.
You can choose carbon ceramic brakes, but seriously, the steels are amazing as they are, so unless you’re going to spend regular days on-track, you’ll be okay.
The exterior styling is very aggressive – along with the carbon roof and the dark wheels, there are carbon splitters front and rear as well as a carbon gurney flap on the bootlip. LED headlights are standard and the daytime running lights mark out the CS from the rest of the pack. It looks lower and wider courtesy of the chunky front bumper and carbon splitter and the CFRP bonnet looks appropriately bulgy.
Annoyingly, the deeply sexy OLED taillights haven’t made it to the sedan. That’s boring, but probably means you won’t pay as much.
The M4 GTS interior featured some fun changes that reflected the focussed nature of the car. The CS has dialled them back a bit, but my absolute favourite feature – the the door-straps – stayed. But for the M3, it’s a bit more friendly, with standard M3 door handles. Amusingly, it’s only a four-seater, just like the M4.
The front seats are also not the wacky slotted M4 seats, but that utterly delicious, fat, Alcantara-clad steering wheel made the transition. It could do without the naff red starter button, though.
There’s plenty of Alcantara on the dash – along with that lovely CS logo punched in – and the armrest is MIA. Some more carbon pieces complete the picture. And theres’s a big screen, iDrive 6 and cupholders and really, do you care?
How many and should I get one?
BMW says it can churn out around 1200 of these bad boys, limited only by time and production availability (there’s a new 3 on the way, after all) and there’s also the M4 CS to produce. These will go quickly and
you can plonk down your deposit from 2018. You can plonk down your deposit now.
(Australian readers will want to know that the price is $179,900, $33,000 more than the M3 Competition.)
Should you get one? If it’s half as good as the M4 CS, yep. Without delay.
Here’s a typically silly video for you:
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And here’s our BMW M4 CS Review Video
Peter Anderson is the Editor and founder of the theredline.com.au. He’s been writing about cars for years and finds it difficult to talk about anything else.