CS and CSL badges are given to faster and sportier versions of already fast and sporty BMWs. It’s a pretty special thing to have these stamps. Only a few models in BMW’s product lineup have them, and all of these have been two-door coupes. But for the first time in the brand’s history, the celebrated badge will be put on a four-door sedan. Say hello to the BMW M3 CS.
The CS treatment starts with the powertrain. The 3.0-liter twin-turbo straight-six engine is tweaked to eke out 460hp, 10hp more than in the M3 with the Competition Package. Paired with it is an updated seven-speed dual-clutch transmission with separate oil coolers. These allow the M3 CS to accelerate to 100km/h in 3.9 seconds and go on to an electronically limited top speed of 280km/h.
To complement this straight-line performance, the M division also did wonders with the M3 CS’s cornering agility. Both front and rear axles have lightweight forged-aluminum links and wheel carriers. The car comes equipped with the Adaptive M suspension and the Active M differential. These are controlled by an enhanced stability control system that allows the driver to individually adjust the car’s damping and steering characteristics, depending on road conditions and the driver’s own preferences.
BMW has also given the M3 CS several styling updates in the pursuit of further performance gains. The front splitter, the rear diffuser, the roof and the hood are all made of carbon-fiber reinforced plastic. Under the flared wheel arches sit 265mm front and 285mm rear semi-slick road tires. Spirited driving comes with an aural reward, too, as the engine sings through a sports exhaust system terminating with four tailpipes.
These enhancements make this car the latest, greatest and possibly last member of the F80-series M3. I say “last” because of unofficial talks of BMW immediately ending production of the F80 due to it not being able to comply with the emissions standards of the Worldwide Harmonized Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP). The WLTP requires particulate filters to be fitted to gasoline engines from June 1 of this year.
Only 1,200 units of the BMW M3 CS will be produced. With no immediate successor in sight, the F80-series M3s are likely to enjoy high resale values until the next-generation M3 comes along.