The BMW M3 CS, which can best be described as the recently launched M4 CS’s slightly more sensible twin brother, offers all of the same limited edition spills and automotive thrills as the M4, but throws two extra doors into the mix so that it’s even easier to share the driving fun with the rest of the family.
Set to make its official debut at the LA Auto Show, the M3 CS is powered by the same 3-liter TwinPower turbo found under the bulging hood of the stock M3, but it’s been tweaked to deliver 460hp instead of 450hp. It will cover the 0-100km/h dash in just 3.9 seconds and can keep going to an electronically limited top speed of 280km/h or 174mph. This too is an improvement on the standard M3, which is reined in at 155mph.
Standard equipment includes a seven-speed double clutch transmission complete with its own oil cooler that allows the car to be driven like a pure automatic, say around town, or as a manual when the road ahead looks exciting. But even with all of this focus on fun, the final cog in that gearbox is ‘long,’ meaning that you can pop it into seventh at low revs and maintain a smooth cruising speed and optimum fuel consumption on long-distance highway journeys.
As for how the car rides and handles, many of the suspension components are formed from lightweight but strong aluminum to minimize unsprung weight. There are separate settings for road and track use, but the driver can fine-tune everything from steering weight to the stiffness or softness of damping to suit their personal style or the demands of the terrain ahead.
The cabin offers a mix of materials reflective of its premium standing and of its sporting prowess. Seats and door panels are finished in two-tone leather and Alcantara, while the car also gets BMW’s top specification infotainment and a Harman Kardon sound system.
While the exterior gets a unique front apron design, a specially designed trunk lip spoiler and a host of panels formed from carbon fiber-reinforced plastic (CFRP) to minimize weight and help lower the center of gravity.
Just 1200 examples of the M3 CS are planned when it goes into production in March. Order books open in January and the LA Auto Show will open its doors to the public this year from December 1.