With good reason, the M3 Touring is getting all the attention this week as it celebrates its public debut at the Goodwood Festival of Speed. Meanwhile, BMW is hard at work preparing a further extension of the 3 Series lineup as 2023 will bring us the second-generation M3 CS. A prototype was spotted undergoing testing at the Nürburgring with a surprisingly large amount of camouflage.
Right off the bat, we notice the aggressive front bumper has virtually been carried over from the M4 CSL. It’s the side profile that has us scratching our heads as BMW decided to apply its typical black and white swirly camouflage onto the rear windows. While the aforementioned stripped-down coupe lost its rear seats as part of a Draconian diet to shave off 100 kilograms (220 pounds), it wouldn’t make sense for the M3 CS to delete the rear bench.
It would be strange to sell a four-door sedan without back seats, albeit it’s been done before by Jaguar with its XE SV Project 8. Common sense tells us BMW is trying to hide a new rear seat design that could contribute to the weight loss program the M3 CS will go through. Taking out the bulky bench and replacing it with two individual seats à la M5 CS would remove some of the fat.
We’ll remind you the previous M3 lost 110 lbs (49 kg) for the CS version, so roughly half compared to the M4 Competition’s transition to the CSL. The latter has had its inline-six engine bumped to 550 horsepower or 40 hp more than before, so an educated guess tells us the M3 CS will gain around 20 hp. That would bring the grand total for the twin-turbo 3.0-liter unit to approximately 530 hp, but nothing is official at this point. In fact, a source close to BMW has told us we should expect 540 hp.
How much is it going to cost? Well, the M3 Competition Sedan with rear-wheel drive starts at $76,700, so don’t be too surprised if BMW will charge over $90,000 for the CS. Justifying the significant premium will be the added power, less weight, and limited availability. We mustn’t rule out the possibility of xDrive, which would drive up the price even further since the AWD M3 costs $4,100 more than the RWD variant.
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