The most powerful and track-focused version of the new BMW M3 sports sedan has made its debut ahead of the arrival of the first Australian showrooms later this year.
the 2023 BMW M3 CS was unveiled in Europe ahead of first deliveries in Australia later this year.
The new M3 CS of the G80 series is the second generation of the nameplate and builds on the regular version of BMW’s smallest 4-door M car with more power, less weight and sharper suspension and steering.
BMW says a “limited run” of cars will be built from March – but it’s unclear how many will be produced and how many will come to Australia.
Prices in Australia start at $249,900 plus road expenses – $74,600 more than the M3 Competition xDrive model ($175,300) on which it is based and almost $100,000 more expensive than the entry-level manual M3.
While the previous generation M3 CS from 2018 was still equipped with rear-wheel drive, the new model will only be offered with all-wheel drive “M xDrive”, which is connected to an eight-speed automatic transmission.
The familiar 3.0-litre twin-turbo straight-six petrol engine has been tuned to deliver 405kW and 650Nm – 30kW more than the standard M3 Competition xDrive and to match the related M4 CSL special edition coupe.
BMW claims a 0-100 km/h acceleration time of 3.4 seconds for the CS – 0.1 seconds faster than the model it’s based on – plus a 0-200 km/h in 11.1 seconds and a top speed of 302 km/h (plus 12 km/h). ).
The extra power comes from increased turbo boost pressure and revised engine software, according to the automaker, while there are new, stiffer engine mounts that are said to deliver “even sharper engine response”.
As with the standard M3 Competition xDrive, the all-wheel-drive system is coupled to a limited-slip rear differential and switches to a rear-wheel drive mode when the stability control system is switched off.
The M3 CS saves 20 kg compared to the M3 Competition xDrive thanks to carbon fiber reinforced plastic for the hood, front splitter, front air intake inserts, side mirror caps, rear diffuser, tailgate spoiler, steering wheel shift paddles, center console and dashboard inserts.
There are also standard carbon front M bucket seats and a titanium silencer that saves 4 kg alone, combined with black tailpipes.
Under the skin, the M3 CS gets retuned adaptive suspension and steering systems, revised stability control software and an aluminum strut brace under the hood.
The wheels – available in gold or matte black – measure 19 inches at the front and 20 inches at the rear and come standard with 275/35 R19 front and 285/30 R20 rear wrapped in Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 track tires (a more street-ready Focused tire is optional).
M compound brake discs with six-piston brake calipers at the front and single-piston brake calipers at the rear – painted in red – are standard; carbon-ceramic brake discs with red brake calipers are available as an option.
The M3 CS will differentiate itself from regular M3s on the road with an M4 CSL-derived front end with red accented grille inserts, a larger splitter and a new hood with twin stripes.
The laser headlights mirror other BMW M CS and CSL vehicles with yellow running light signatures said to be inspired by GT endurance racers. There’s also a tweaked rear spoiler and M3 CS badging with red outlines.
Four colors are available: Frozen Solid White Metallic, Brooklyn Gray Metallic, Sapphire Black Metallic and the Signal Green featured in these launch images.
Inside, the M3 CS loses the center rear seat of the production vehicle and scores with standard carbon fiber bucket seats with electric adjustment, heating, a black and red Merino leather upholstery with contrast stitching.
Other changes include M3 CS door sills, three-stripe seat belts, an Alcantara steering wheel with a red center marker, and a carbon fiber center console that swaps out the center armrest and storage tray for a small armrest and open storage tray to save weight.
The M3 CS benefits from the 12.3-inch instrument display and 14.9-inch iDrive 8 center touchscreen now standard on the regular M3.
Standard features carried over from the M3 Competition xDrive in Australia include keyless entry, automatic dual-zone climate control, a head-up display, mobile phone charging, satellite navigation, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, digital radio and tire pressure monitors.
However, it lacks lane departure warning, automatic parking and adaptive cruise control. However, autonomous emergency braking is standard.
Local buyers can choose carbon-ceramic brakes for $16,500 — while the different exterior paint colors, wheel designs, and tire compounds are no-cost options.
the 2023 BMW M3 CS will be released in Australian showrooms in the second half of this year.