WORLD PREMIERE: BMW M3 CS — The Best Version of the Best Version

BMW M3, News | November 7th, 2017 by 8
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When BMW launched the M4 CS, we deemed it to be the ‘Goldilocks’ variant of the M4 product range. Not as spicy as the M4 …

When BMW launched the M4 CS, we deemed it to be the ‘Goldilocks’ variant of the M4 product range. Not as spicy as the M4 GTS but tastier than the standard M4 Competition Package. To make the M4 CS, BMW essentially took an M4 Comp Pack and added lightness, in the form of some new carbon fiber interior bits, a carbon hood and some cool carbon aero. It also received a slight power bump. All of that combined to make the M4 CS the best driving, best looking variant of the M4. Now, the Bavarians have given their ‘CS’ treatment to the M4’s sibling, just with a few tweaks, and it could be even better than the M4 CS. Meet the BMW M3 CS.

In a nutshell, BMW gave the M3 CS a similar sort of treatment as it gave the M4 CS, just not to the same extreme. So whereas the BMW M4 CS was sort of an M4 GTS-light, the new BMW M3 CS is a bit more comfortable, a bit more well-rounded. Though, still spicier than the standard car.

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The BMW M3 CS also receives a power boost, up 28 hp from the standard M3 to make 453 hp. It also gets a bump in torque, up 37 lb-ft to total 443 lb-ft. According to BMW, the M3 CS can get from 0-60 mph in 3.7 seconds, which sounds about exactly right, considering the Comp Pack can do it in around 3.8-3.9 seconds and the CS is a bit lighter and more powerful. There’s also a CS-specific exhaust that’s tuned for a more aggressive, racier sound. Which is good, considering that S55 engine was never the best sounding engine from BMW at the moment.

On the outside, the BMW M3 CS looks very similar to its M4 sibling. So it gets the same carbon fiber front lip, carbon rear diffuser and carbon rear spoiler. It’s also sitting on the same wheels, BMW’s Style 763M wheels, which look excellent on the M3. We recently tested an M3 Comp Pack with M Performance bits and it was wearing the Style 763M wheels also and it only confirms that these are the best wheels for the M3. They look superb. More than just look good, the staggered wheels (20″ at the rear, 19″ at the front), they’re also significantly lighter than the standard M3 wheels, reducing unsprung rotational mass. All of that weight savings adds up to about a 110 lb weight reduction. That’s not crazy but nothing to sneeze at, either.

We also think the BMW M3 CS looks even better than its M4 counterpart, thanks to its flared rear wheel arches and overall more muscular look. The M4 CS is a stunner but the M3 CS has an edgier look that’s even more appealing. Five color choices will be available for the M3 CS, with Alpine White being standard. Customers who don’t want white can also choose from San Marino Blue Metallic, Lime Rock Grey Metallic, Frozen Dark Blue II Metallic or Black Sapphire Metallic. One bit of the M4 CS we wish the M3 CS inherited, though, would be its OLED taillights, which look far better than the M3’s standard ones.

Where the BMW M3 CS differs most from the M4 CS is on the inside. Where the cabin of the latter car is almost GTS-like, with its carbon fiber door skins and fabric door pulls, the M3 CS is a bit softer, a bit more luxurious. Its door panels are covered in contrast-stitched leather, as is the dashboard, and the seats are a unique combination of Silverstone/Black two-tone leather. In fact, there doesn’t seem to be a whiff of carbon fiber in the cabin, which is actually refreshing. Instead, the only lightweight material is Alcantara, which adorns all the trim, such as on the dash and the center console. Like the M4 CS, the armrest has been deleted here and is just covered in Alcantara instead. Overall, it’s a lot better looking than the interior of the M4 CS, which is a bit too boy-racer.

Orders for the BMW M3 CS start in May, 2018 and there will only be 1,200 units built and sold so hurry up and get your checkbooks ready. The BMW M3 CS looks like it could be the best iteration of the ‘CS’ models, making it the best version of the best version of the BMW M3/M4. Only 500 of those units will be making it ‘Stateside, so if you’re in the US you should be in even more of a hurry. Pricing hasn’t been released yet but expect it to carry quite a premium over the standard M3. Though, if you can swing it, it’s likely worth it.

When we saw the M4 CS for the first time, we were excited for a couple of reasons. First, it was a great looking variant of the M4 that promised more performance, better driving dynamics and a more stylish look. Now that we’ve seen the BMW M3 CS, we think it’s even more exciting, thanks to being a bit nicer on the inside, having the capability of a back seat and even looking better.

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