BMW News

The special-edition M3 CS from BMW M will be the hottest F80 M3 yet. Production will start in the first half of 2018, but if you want one, you may want to start a dialog with your dealer soon. BMW will make 1,200 of these cars, and only 550 will come to the U.S. market.

The new BMW M3 CS builds on the already iconic M3 sedan, which is the latest in the legendary line of BMWs built to provide an exciting driving experience. Until now, the sportiest M3 you could get was the M3 with Competition Package. The new M3 CS takes that to the next level with 453 horsepower—ten more than the Competition Package—and 443 pound-feet of torque. The three-liter M engine in the M3 CS with its M TwinPower Turbo technology takes the car from zero to 60 miles per hour in 3.7 seconds. Since the M3 CS comes standard with the M Driver's Package, the sedan's top speed is an electronically limited 174 miles per hour, up from the standard M3's 155.

When you push the car's Start button—in bright red on this car—the inline six transmits a satisfying growl through the signature four stainless-steel tailpipes of the M sports exhaust system.

Some enthusiasts may be disappointed to find the new M3 CS only comes equipped with the seven-speed M Double Clutch Transmission (M DCT) with Drivelogic. The M DCT has its own oil cooler and can make gear changes automatically or kind of manually using the paddle shifters. It's true there is no manual option but on the other hand, the M DCT changes gears faster than a conventional gearbox, so there's that.

The M3 CS suspension looks pretty much like the one on the M3 Competition Package. Links and wheel carriers at both ends are aluminum, keeping down the unsprung mass. It comes standard with the Adaptive M suspension that BMW says is at home on the street or on the track.

Technological features that drivers may find useful under the right circumstances include Dynamic Stability Control (DSC), M Dynamic Mode, and the Active M Differential. These have been tuned for the M3 CS as has the electromechanical steering. The car can make it's best guess at which and how much of these systems you might need based on the route, or drivers can adjust the steering and suspension settings themselves to suit their individual tastes.

The M3 CS sits on light alloy wheels in Orbit Grey Matte—9 x 19 in front and 10 x 20 in back—which will make the car feel right at home on the track. You would expect hot Michelin tires on a BMW like this and you won't be disappointed, as it comes with Michelin 265/35 R 19 Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires in front and 285/30 R 20s in the rear. They are road-legal tires, but their semi-slick tread will give you high grip and lateral stability on the track.  Buyers who anticipate more road work than track use can order Michelin Sport road tires instead.

M compound brakes are standard, with fixed four-piston calipers in fronts and two-pistons in the rear. BMW M Carbon Ceramic brakes—six pots in front and four in back—are an available option on this car.

Some may look at the M3 CS interior and say it's beautiful, while others may say it's quite functional, and both would right. Two-toned full Merino leather in Silverstone/Black and Alcantara creates a look of attractive luxury and sportiness at the same time. The M3 CS provides lightweight M sports seats for the front occupants. Speaking of luxury, the car comes with automatic climate control, Harmon Kardon surround system, and Navigation system Professional.  

The optional steering wheel is pretty neat. It's an M sports steering wheel wrapped in Alcantara with a silver marker at the 12 o'clock position. That sounds more elegant than a strip of yellow electrical tape. Interior trim strips exclusive to the M3 CS are also covered with Alcantara. The door sills include M3 CS badging.

Outside, the car looks very M, with three large air intakes in the front apron and twin LED headlight units. The trunk lid has a Gurney flap on the rear edge, which works in concert with the front splitter and rear diffuser to help keep the M3 CS on the pavement. The aero items are all carbon fiber, as are the hood and roof, as BMW engineers worked to keep the car's weight low—or as low as possible given the creature comforts BMW had to include for a road car. The M3 CS weighs about 110 pounds less than a standard M3.

The all-new BMW M3 CS will be available in Alpine White, San Marino Blue Metallic, Lime Rock Grey Metallic, Frozen Dark Blue II Metallic, or Black Sapphire Metallic, all with BMW Individual High gloss Shadow Line trim and darkened taillights.

Expect the new BMW M3 CS to cost significantly more than a standard M3, even one with the Competition Package. BMW will let us know the actual U.S. pricing when it gets closer to market launch.—Scott Blazey

[Photos courtesy of BMW AG.]