The CS, a more M-otional BMW M3

By Christopher A. Sawyer
The Virtual Driver

(November 15, 2017) BMW’s special edition M3 CS really ladles on the carbon fiber. The hood (25% lighter than on the stock M3), roof (13 pounds lighter), Gurney flap and front splitter (both in exposed carbon fiber), and the unique rear diffuser are all made from this material. Weight for the model is 110 pounds less than a standard M3, making these additions functional as well as stylish.

The twin-turbo inline six also has been tweaked, making 453 horsepower at 6,250 rpm (+28 hp.) and 443 lb.-ft. of torque from 4,000-5,380 rpm (+37 lb.-ft.).

BMW claims the CS, which is electronically limited to 174 mph, can sprint from 0-60 mph in 3.7 seconds. Not surprisingly, the engine is fitted with a lightweight magnesium oil pump with extra baffling to limit surging when longitudinal or lateral forces reach 1.4g, as well as an extra oil suction pump and uprated return.

The engine exhales though a dual-branch stainless steel sport exhaust with four tailpipes that are integrated into the diffuser. Back pressure is governed by internal electronically actuated flaps located upstream of the rear muffler units. Normally, the powertrain computer decides the proper position based on throttle opening, back pressure, engine load and more. However, the driver can also affect their activation by choosing a drive mode.

The only transmission available is a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic. It has the requisite paddle shifters located on the steering wheel, should you want to choose your own shift points, and can be used in automatic mode. In addition to Drivelogic programming, there’s also M Launch Control for perfect standing starts.

The M3 CS comes standard with Adaptive M Suspension, M Servotronic electromechanical steering, Active M Differential, and stability control with M Dynamic Mode. It is built on the same basic chassis as the M3 with Competition Package, but with a sportier setup.

 Forged alloy wheels weighing 22 pounds each front and 19 pounds each rear, respectively, are fitted with Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires, size 265/35R-19 front, and 285/30R-20 rear. Braking is via fixed calipers front and rear (four-piston units up front and two-piston units in back) clamping compound discs. Or you can go for the option of six-piston front/four-piston rear fixed calipers and carbon ceramic discs.

Dealers will start taking orders for the M3 CS in May, with approximately 550 of the 1,200 total units coming to the U.S. Prices will be announced closer to the launch date, but you can expect it to be expensive.

The Virtual Driver