BMW Launches New Limited-Edition M3 CS

BY Sean Loo

BMW has revived an old badge for a new car, and boy is it an exciting one. This is the brand-new BMW M3 CS.

The name previously existed on one of BMW’s most potent compact performance cars. It would take a very special car to be able to properly wear the CS title again, and thankfully it seems that BMW has done it. What they have created, is a formidable four-wheel-drive monster.

This limited-edition road-worthy track weapon shows off an uprated version of the BMW M3’s 3.0-litre turbo straight 6, producing an extremely respectable 542bhp. That’s 39 horses more than the ‘standard’ M3 Competition, and now the M3 CS has the same output as the BMW M4 CSL. Couple that to a plentiful supply of torque, which is rated at 650Nm, and you get a potent street weapon.

An all-wheel-drive (AWD) setup comes in handy too for the century sprint. The M3 CS can brisk it in just 3.4 seconds, versus the M4 CSL whose rear-wheel drive (RWD) platform only manages 3.7 seconds.

Because of the standard M Driver’s Pack that comes in the M3 CS, it maxes out at 302km/h. Meanwhile, while the M4 CSL will happily hit 310km/h. You be the judge if you need the extra speed.

The additional power is thanks to tweaks to the turbo boost pressure – an increment from 1.7 bar to 2.1 bar. Throw in an ECU remap, and bob’s your uncle.

All that power is sent through an 8-speed ZF gearbox, an active differential and M’s ‘xDrive’ 4WD setup. Unsurprisingly, more power is sent to the rear rubbers, and this rear-biases can be intensified by switching into 4WD Sport mode. It can either direct more of those pretty horsies to the rear, or even disengage the front axle entirely by switching off traction control and making it fully rear-wheel drive.

I suggest you give a call to your local tyre supplier, as you’re gonna need a new set pretty soon.

With such an abundance of power, the car must sit on proper suspension in order to put that power to the ground. Fully bespoke camber, damper, auxiliary springs and anti-roll bar settings, together with a special steering tune result in agile cornering. So you don’t soil your pants coming round a bend at speed.

Big boy M brakes are standard of course, but you can also opt for bigger M carbon ceramic brakes, to flex to your brethen. These brakes hide behind lightweight new wheels, with 19-inches at the front and 20 in the back.

The M3 CS is also on a leaner diet than its regular M3 some M3 Competition sibling, courtesy of a standard-fit carbon fibre roof and lightweight aero parts. These include a bonnet (or hood if you’re not from the Commonwealth), front splitter, front air intakes, rear diffuser and rear spoiler.

There’s shiny carbon mirror caps and shift-paddles too, along with M Carbon bucket seats that will sure to break any form of posture you have. Add a titanium rear exhaust backbox, and the car sheds a respectable 20kg.

Bad news for people who like red. You can only spec it in white, green, grey or black. Oh there is red, but it's only on the lining that highlights the now-frameless kidney grilles. If you were trying your best to ignore it, you’re welcome.

No surprise it will be made in limited quantities, and BMW has not revealed how many will be built. Whether one will eventually come to our shores, we’ll just have to wait and see. But, I’m confident that it’ll be the case.