Yesterday, we saw some spy photos of the upcoming BMW M3 CS doing some hot laps at the Nürburgring. In those photos, we saw that the M3 CS will borrow a few design elements from the top-flight M4 CSL but also had some points of interest of its own. In these new spy photos, we get an even closer look at the hardest-core M3, even if they don’t reveal much more than the previous ones. (We don’t own the spy photos but you can see them here)
Up front, the BMW M3 CS uses a lot of the same design cues as the M4 CSL. The kidney grille insert is the same, with all of that negative space (likely for added cooling), and it seems the lower front air intakes/aerodynamics are the same as well. For those worried the M3 CS might just look like a standard M3 with new badges, these photos prove it will look much angrier.
Out back, not much seems changed, with only a very subtle trunk lip spoiler differentiating it from the standard M3. Though, that’s not such a bad thing — the M3 has a nice butt. Its wheels are different but, being a test mule, there’s no way to know if these will even be the production wheels for the M3 CS.
The biggest point of interest, as it was in yesterday’s photos as well, is the rear window camouflage. Automakers typically don’t camouflage rear windows but BMW did with this M3 test mule. What could BMW be hiding with that camo? I think there are only two real possibilities; one more realistic and one less so. The likely reason is that BMW is hiding the back seat, so as to not show off the cool rear bucket seats of the M3 CS, just like you’ll find on the more powerful M5 CS. The less likely possibility is that BMW used some sort of lightweight, Perspex-style rear glass but that’s doubtful. It’d be cool, though.
There won’t be a CSL version of the BMW M3, only the M4 gets the top-dog, track-ready model. So the BMW M3 CS will be the hottest version of the four-door M3. When it debuts, it’s rumored to have around 540 horsepower, only an automatic transmission, and only xDrive all-wheel drive. That would make sense, as the M5 CS has a similar formula and CS models are designed to walk a fine line between extreme performance and daily usability. CSL models are meant to be more driver-focused and track-ready, which is why the M4 CSL will only be rear-wheel drive.
When the BMW M3 CS finally hits the road, it has immense potential. The M5 CS is one of the very best M cars in history and the standard M3 is already a better base car than the standard M5. So if BMW M can work the same magic it did on the M5 CS on the M3 CS, it should be a mighty driver’s machine.