I’m not particularly fond of Audi, but I’m an avid fan of both Mercedes and BMW. I know that goes against the grain that you can’t be a supporter of both, but I am. I think the E46 M3 is one of the most excellent cars ever made, and I enjoy both the E90 M3 and the C63 equally. The most recent F80 M3 left a lot to be desired though, which is where the latest C63S stepped in and completely wiped the floor with it.
Things are about to change, however, because BMW has just announced this: the BMW M3 CS. The CS moniker was last used on the E46 M3. After skipping a whole generation with the E9x series, it’s now back on the F80. If you think it’s just a marketing trick BMW is pulling off, think again.
Let’s start with the engine since that’s what everyone wants to know. The news is in, and they’re good: it gets a 28 horsepower and 37 lb-ft of torque bump. That means the total power figures now stand at 453 horsepower and 443 lb-ft of torque. The added oomph comes courtesy of software tuning and is relatively conservative still.
Power is sent to the rear wheels via the same slick DCT, but the 0-62 mph time drops to 3.7 seconds. It’s electronically limited to 174 mph, though if you were to derestrict it, I honestly believe it will crack 190 flat. Out back there’s a revised M Sport exhaust, which will hopefully give the straight-six a bit of that raspy noise the E46 exhibits.
The added power is nice, but BMW’s M has always edged AMG in the chassis department. To deal with the weapon that is the new C63S, BMW has extensively reworked the M3. For starters, it’s 110 lbs thanks to clever use of carbon fiber. Underneath it carries the same Competition Package bits, plus the bespoke lightweight forged aluminum links and wheel carries. It’s slightly stiffer too.
When you increase the speed, you need more raw stopping power. Ceramic rotors with six-piston calipers take care of that, whether you’re driving on the streets or attacking a race track. Incredibly, BMW claims they’re lighter than the standard iron ones, which blows my mind since they’re physically bigger and utilize larger calipers.
Inside it’s the usual case of Alcantara and brushed aluminum, but a couple of creature comforts have been stripped out for, you guessed it… less weight. Still, you get M Sport bucket seats, a sat-nav, full climate controls, and even a Harman Kardon premium stereo. Not too bad for something which lost 100 lbs.
Prices aren’t fully confirmed, but it’s going to fetch a $30,000+ premium over the standard M3 Competition Pack. Considering just 1200 of them are going to be made globally; however, they’re not just the ultimate driving machine, but a future investment and a future classic. Much like the E63 M3 CSL, I hope.