BMW has revealed the more hardcore – lighter, stiffer and more powerful – M3 CS flagship sedan ahead of its world premiere this weekend at the 24 Hours of Daytona.
As we’ve come to expect the M3 CS gets an upgraded inline-six, retuned chassis, and extensive use of carbon-fibre to make it badder than its siblings. It shares much in common with the BMW M4 CSL revealed last May, only it offers a more practical interior and all-wheel drive instead of rear-wheel drive.
It’ll be in Australia in limited numbers from the second half of 2023, costing $249,900 before on-road costs.
The tweaked M TwinPower Turbo 3.0-litre six offers 30kW more than the M3 Competition, taking it to 405kW over a wider band. Torque remains 650Nm at its peak but in the CS it’s sustained for longer, out to almost 6000rpm.
The claimed zero to 100km/h time is down a tenth to 3.4 seconds, while the 0-200km/h mark is hit in 11.1sec. The electronically governed top speed is 302km/h.
Tweaks primarily involved raising the maximum charge pressure of the two single-scroll turbochargers from 1.7 to 2.1 bar, and making some “model-specific tweaks” to the engine management. Redesigned engine mounts with higher spring rates are there to create a more rigid connection.
BMW’s go-fast division says the revised engine draws on features from BMW’s M4 GT3 DTM touring car. The engine has a sleeve-free closed-deck crankcase, lighter cylinder bores, 3D-printed cylinder head core, and track-specific oil supply and cooling systems.
There’s a dual-branch exhaust system featuring electrically controlled flaps, titanium rear silencer, and two pairs of tailpipes painted matt black. Selecting the Sport or Sport+ modes “dials up the drive sound to produce a note with unmissable racing car undertones,” BMW claims.
The 2024 BMW M3 CS puts power the the road through an eight-speed M Steptronic automatic transmission with carbon-fibre paddle shifters, with M xDrive variable and rear-biased AWD, and a rear Active M Differential to shuffle torque across the axle.
This iteration of xDrive comes with better oil supply to the electronically controlled multi-plate clutch, specifically tuned so for track reliability.
BMW claims there are “model-specific settings” for the stability control and the M Dynamic driving mode – geared to the specific demands of high-speed circuit driving. There are also retuned axle kinematics and model-specific wheel camber, dampers, auxiliary springs and anti-roll bars.
The electronically controlled dampers on the new BMW M3 CS likewise come in a model-specific setup, as does its electromechanical M Servotronic variable-ratio steering.
Further standard specification for the special-edition model includes M Compound brakes with callipers painted red or black. M Carbon ceramic brakes are optional.
Also on the standard equipment list for the new M3 CS are forged M light-alloy wheels in an exclusive V-spoke design with Gold Bronze or Matt Black finish, measuring 19-inches at the front and 20-inches at the rear.
Standard track tyres, developed for the CS, measure 275/35 ZR19 at the front and 285/30 ZR20 at the rear. More road-friendly tyres are a no-cost option.
Weight-saving decisions include the fitment of a carbon-fibre roof, bonnet, front splitter, front air intakes, exterior mirror caps, rear diffuser and rear spoiler. Its centre console, the shift paddles on the steering wheel, and its interior trim strips are likewise all manufactured from the material.
Standard M Carbon bucket seats also do their bit to keep weight down, as does the titanium rear silencer. The various lightweight measures bring about a total saving of some 20kg.
Design changes include available Frozen Solid White metallic paint, alongside Signal Green solid, Brooklyn Grey metallic, and Sapphire Black metallic, plus the exposed carbon-fibre surfaces and black-and-red badges. BMW Laserlight headlights are standard too.
Inside there are the M Carbon heated and powered bucket seats with exclusive surfaces and seam patterns. There’s also the latest-generation iDrive based on BMW Operating System 8, which includes the BMW Curved Display (12.3-inch cluster and 14.9-inch touchscreen) for the cockpit.
Shift lights appear at the top of the information display, while the M xDrive and traction control modes are indicated at the lower edge. Special widgets containing information on the current vehicle setup, as well as tyre pressure and temperature, can be added.
Australia is one of the world’s leading markets for BMW M in the ratio of its cars sold in the overall model mix, with one in five BMWs registered here wearing a BMW M badge.
The M3 CS will hit the local market in the second half of 2023 following launches of XM, M3 Touring and the second-generation M2.
BMW Australia has announced a price of $249,900 – $74,600 more expensive than the M3 Competition xDrive sedan, but $54,000 cheaper than the M4 CSL coupe.
CS model specific:
- Merino leather upholstery
- 19-inch/20-inch M light alloy wheels star spoke 827M
- Track tyres
- M Compound brakes
- M Carbon bucket seats, electric and heated
- Alcantara steering wheel
- BMW Laserlight with yellow detail
- M Carbon exterior package
- M Driver’s Package
- 305km/h top speed
- BMW M Advance 2 driving course
- Carbon bonnet and roof
- Carbon front splitter, blades and air intake
- Titanium exhaust with matt black tailpipes
- CS-specific engine mounting
- M front end strut brace
- Driving Assistant
- Parking Assistant
- Choice of BMW Individual and metallic paints
- Galvanic embellishers for controls
- Storage compartment package
- Driving Assistant Professional
- Parking Assistant Plus