BMW pushes the super-sedan limits with the new 550-hp M3 CS

More power, lightweight construction, and upgraded dynamics make this one of the most formidable four-door cars.

By Sony Thomas

The BMW M3 is unarguably one of the greatest performance sedans ever built. While with every generation of the M3, it was hard to believe that the car could be bettered, BMW managed to do that with versions such as the 3.0 CSL. Now the German carmaker has done the same with the current generation M3, revealing an even fiercer version that will be more extreme than the M3 in every possible way.

Headlining the upgrades is the 3.0-litre turbocharged six-cylinder engine that churns out 550 horses and a whopping 650Nm of torque. Channelling this power to all four wheels is an eight-speed M Steptronic transmission and M xDrive intelligent all-wheel-drive system. The result is a 0-100kph dash in just 3.4 seconds. Adding aural drama to this progress is a soundtrack from the dual-branch exhaust system with electrically controlled flaps and a titanium rear silencer.

The chassis has been tuned specifically to complement the upgraded engine’s performance attributes, with the Dynamic Stability Control system and M Dynamic Mode tweaked to meet the specific demands of high-speed circuit driving. The dampers of the adaptive M suspension also get a model-specific setup as do the electromechanical variable-ratio steering and the integrated braking system.

Visually, the frameless kidney grille gives the fascia a stripped-back race car look, while also saving a little bit of weight. Red contour lines and the ‘M3 CS’ badging on the upper grille bar add to the bold countenance, as do the brand’s ‘Laserlight’ headlights that come as standard specification. Carbon fibre is used extensively across the roof, the two bonnet indents, the front splitter, air intakes, wing mirror caps, the rear spoiler and the rear apron.  Apart from the exclusive Frozen Solid White paint finish, Signal Green, Brooklyn Grey metallic and Sapphire Black metallic are available as optional exterior colours.

The cabin also gets suitably updated with a driver-oriented sportscar-like cockpit, electric and heated M Carbon bucket seats, and an illuminated model badge. Carbon-fibre-reinforced plastic is used in the structural elements of the seats to further enable weight reduction. Rounding off the interior upgrades are M seat belts with BMW M colours and patterns, M3 CS lettering on the door sill plates, a black headliner, a carbon fibre trim finish and an Alcantara steering wheel with shift paddles.

The new BMW M3 CS will be built in a limited run, with production set to begin in Munich in March 2023. A phased launch will happen in the same month across all major markets.

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