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BMW M3 goes lightweight with new CS model. Image by BMW.

BMW M3 goes lightweight with new CS model
The BMW M3 has been on an M4 CSL-inspired diet and gets a bit more power to boot.
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Newer articles featuring 2023 BMW 3 Series

2023-03-09: First drive: 2023 BMW M3 Touring

What's all this about?

BMW’s crusade to create yet more mouth-watering collectors’ items. This time, it’s the M3 Competition saloon that’s getting a makeover inspired by the M4 CSL, thus creating the new M3 CS. Offering more power than the standard car, as well as a bespoke chassis set-up and exclusive specification, the CS is designed to offer “high performance and maximum driving dynamics”, while still being “perfectly suited for everyday use”.

More power, you say?

Yup. Arguably the most important change is found under the bonnet, where the 3.0-litre straight six petrol engine has been revised to create an extra 40hp, giving it much the same output as the M4 CSL. That means the total power has risen to 550hp, permitting a 0-62mph time of 3.4 seconds and a top speed of 188mph. Of course, that’s partly down to changes to the eight-speed automatic gearbox and the xDrive all-wheel-drive system, but the engine clearly has a key role to play.

Has BMW done anything to improve the handling?

Of course. The chassis has been retuned to cope with the extra power and the modified weight distribution, with bespoke settings for the stability control and the driving modes. There are mechanical changes, too, including tuned axle kinematics and bespoke wheel camber settings, not to mention special settings for the dampers, auxiliary springs, and anti-roll bars. There’s even a model-specific setting for the adaptive M suspension and the electromechanical power steering.

What else has changed?

Naturally, BMW has lightened the M3 to create the CS, with carbon-fibre reinforced plastic used on the bonnet, front splitter and door mirror caps. The same material features on the rear diffuser and spoiler, too, while the CS also comes with a carbon-fibre roof. In total, the German company has shaved off 20kg compared with a standard M3 Competition xDrive. At the same time, BMW has given the CS a brave new look with more exposed carbon-fibre and black trim on the side skirts and M gills. In addition, there are also some red contour lines and new M3 CS badging on the grille, mirroring the M4 CSL.

And the interior?

BMW has built on the latest-generation 3 Series’ cabin with some M Carbon bucket seats in a model-specific design. These seats are electrically adjustable and heated, and they’re finished in black Merino leather with red contrasting stitching. As with the M4 CSL, the M3 CS has a stripped-back centre console, as well as M seat belts with a woven stripe pattern in BMW M GmbH colours, M3 CS door sill plates and interior trim strips in a carbon-fibre finish.

This is all sounding very familiar...

Ah, yes. It would. This is, in essence, an M4 CSL with two more doors and all-wheel drive.

So how much does BMW want for this four-door, four-wheel-drive M4 CSL

A lot. BMW says prices start at £115,900, making it more than £10,000 cheaper than the M4 CSL. That’s a big saving, but it’s a lot of money when a standard M3 Competition xDrive comes in at around £82,000 and weighs just 20kg less…



James Fossdyke - 25 Jan 2023

Earlier articles featuring 2023 BMW 3 Series

2022-10-13: First drive: 2023 BMW M340i xDrive Saloon
2022-05-18: BMW reveals revamped 3 Series


2023 BMW M3 CS. Image by BMW.2023 BMW M3 CS. Image by BMW.2023 BMW M3 CS. Image by BMW.2023 BMW M3 CS. Image by BMW.2023 BMW M3 CS. Image by BMW.

2023 BMW M3 CS. Image by BMW.2023 BMW M3 CS. Image by BMW.2023 BMW M3 CS. Image by BMW.2023 BMW M3 CS. Image by BMW.








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