Building on a fine heritage of lightweight, high performance sports saloons, the new special edition BMW M3 CS is the perfect combination of high performance, dynamic performance and everyday usability.
Thanks to the generous use of carbon fibre reinforced plastic (CFRP) and a subsequent low kerb weight, a more sporting suspension set-up, increased power and torque and a unique interior style the BMW CS is a car worthy of the ‘CS’ moniker.
Power for the latest special vehicle to come out of BMW M GmbH is from a six-cylinder in-line engine – a configuration of which has a long tradition at BMW – and one that ensures the absolute best performance in the new BMW M3 CS. Compared to the M3 with Competition Package, the maximum power has been increased by 10hp.
The maximum torque of 600Nm is about 10 per cent higher (M3 with Competition Package: 550Nm) and is available from 4,000rpm to 5,380rpm. The outstanding power output gives the BMW M3 CS performance on a par with supercars, with the sprint from zero to 62mph taking just 3.9 seconds. Thanks to the M Drivers Package, the maximum speed is limited to 174mph.
The 3.0-litre unit uses M TwinPower Turbo technology, with two spontaneously responsive mono-scroll turbochargers. Together with the High Precision Injection (HPI) petrol injection system, the VALVETRONIC variable valve control system and the double-VANOS stepless camshaft adjustment help to deliver optimum performance.
Boost is built up continuously from just above idle, while the fully variable valve and camshaft adjustment ensures efficiency. As a result, the engine not only delivers its power continuously over a very wide engine speed range, but also works economically, keeping fuel consumption low at 34mpg and thus exhaust emissions low at 194g/km.
The engine enables a downshift speed of 7,600rpm, unusually high for a turbocharged engine with double supercharging. Thanks to its ‘closed-deck’ design, the crankcase is particularly rigid enabling high cylinder pressures. Also designed for high performance is the forged, lightweight yet highly torsion-resistant crankshaft, which keeps the weight of the rotating mass low and ensures an even more spontaneous response of the twin-turbo engine.
Another technical highlight, derived from BMW’s extensive motorsport expertise is the oil supply. It is based on the high demands of race track use and ensures the supply of oil at longitudinal and transverse forces of up to 1.4g. The weight-optimised magnesium oil pan is equipped with an additional cover, which keeps the surge of the lubricant even in extreme driving conditions such as abrupt changes of direction on track.
Of course, an M engine must also have the appropriate soundtrack. The new M3 CS has a twin sports exhaust system with four tailpipes, elegantly integrated into the CRFP rear diffuser. It offers the lowest possible exhaust gas backpressure for power delivery and is controlled by a damper system. The dampers are electrically controlled and not only provide optimal feedback on the load condition of the engine over the entire speed range, but also give a typically aggressive ‘M’ sound.
Incidentally, the driver can influence the mode of operation of the valve system by preselecting a driving mode. The tailpipes are made of stainless steel and carry the M emblem.
Power is transmitted to the rear wheels via a seven-speed M dual-clutch gearbox with Drivelogic. It delivers very fast gear changes without interruption of traction. Thanks to M Launch Control, it will accelerate optimally from a standstill. The standard DCT gearbox can also be manually operated via paddles on the steering wheel. To meet even the hardest driving conditions, the 7-speed box has its own oil cooler.
Driving dynamics optimised on the racetrack
Promising driving precision and superior agility, BMW M models have always stood out thanks to a high degree of agility, steering precision and driving stability. The new BMW M3 CS continues this tradition and also supports the enthusiastic driver with a multitude of options for adjusting the chassis, the electro-mechanical ‘M Servotronic’ steering, the DSC stability control system and the Drivelogic dual-clutch transmission.
The CS is equipped as standard with Adaptive M suspension. Here, the driver can choose between three modes: Comfort, Sport and Sport +.The extremely precise electro-mechanical steering of the M3 CS can also be influenced by three different characteristic settings available at the press of a button. The high-tech chassis also includes the Active M differential, which further boosts the already excellent traction and suspension, further optimised by means of an electronically controlled slat lock. The lock control unit communicates with the DSC (Dynamic Stability Control), it takes into account the accelerator pedal position, the wheel speed and the yaw rate of the car and adapts with precision to driving conditions.
Especially when driven hard on the race track, the driving stability components enable maximum traction under all conditions, such as powerful acceleration out of tight turns or on lanes with different coefficients of friction.
The DSC normally counteracts understeer or oversteer by specific interventions in the engine and brake controls, but by switching to M Dynamic Mode (MDM) it allows more wheel slip, allowing for light drifts where track conditions allow.
The chassis is very similar to that of the BMW M3 with Competition Package, which was modified specifically to be even sportier than the already dynamically able M3.
Thanks to its lightweight aluminium construction, it is characterised by its low weight and particularly rigid axles. At the front, it has a two-link strut behind a five-link wishbone, with forged aluminium hubs and calipers. The double-wishbone rear suspension is further influenced by motorsport technology.
A standard unique feature for the CS are forged light-alloy wheels, finished in Matt Orbit Grey. The ten-spoke design is based on the wheels of the successful M4 racing cars from the German Touring Car Masters (DTM). They are extremely light – for example, the rear, 10 J x 20-inch wheels only weigh around 10kg, and the front 9 J x 19-inch wheels weigh just over 9kg. This keeps the unsprung mass low and contributes to the exceptionally high driving dynamics of the M3 CS.
As standard, the CS is equipped with Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tyres, 265/35 R19 at the front and 285/30 R 20 at the rear. The Cup tyres ensure particularly precise steering characteristics, while providing the greatest possible feedback to the driver.
They are ideal for use on the race track and provide maximum grip. However, those who want to use the CS mainly in everyday life can opt for Michelin Pilot Super Sport tyres, which build more grip on wet roads than the Cup tires.
Like the M3, the new CS comes as standard with the BMW M compound brake, It works with four-piston calipers at the front and a two-piston system at the rear, with outstanding deceleration, high fade stability and excellent pedal feel. Compared to a conventional brake system, the composite brake is characterised by its significantly lower weight which contributes to a reduction in unsprung mass.
As an option, the BMW M Carbon-Ceramic Brakes with six-piston front and four-piston rear calipers is available for the BMW M3 CS, which is even lighter, withstands the highest loads, such as race track use, and is even more durable.
The BMW M3 CS has a kerb weight of just 1,585kg (without driver). The CFRP bonnet alone is about 25 per cent lighter than that of the standard M3, while the CFRP roof is more than 6kg lighter than a steel one. Another advantage of the lightweight yet robust composite material is the lowering of the vehicle’s centre of gravity, which gives the BMW M3 CS even more agile handling. On the tailgate, for example, a new carbon fibre lip spoiler not only saves weight, but also significantly reduces lift on the rear axle.
Whilst saving weight was the maxim, M3 CS buyers don’t have to do without luxuries. The M-Sport seats are reduced in weight, but the CS still has amenities such as climate control and a Harman Kardon Surround Sound System.
The new special edition M3 CS emphasises its incredible performance with its purposeful visual appearance. No matter from which perspective you look at the M3 CS, It looks dynamic, muscular and every inch a high-performance sports car.
The exterior styling benefits from double LED headlights and a flat double kidney grille. The three-part front splitter not only emphasises the dynamics of the M3 CS, but also fulfils technical tasks: The large air intakes serve to provide efficient cooling to the six-cylinder twin-turbo engine and also the braking system. Made of lightweight carbon fibre, the splitter effectively reduces the lift on the front axle. Further reducing the load on the front axle is the lightweight CFRP bonnet with a large air intake as featured on the M4 GTS and DTM Champion Edition.
Also made of carbon fibre reinforced plastic is the new boot spoiler. This is an aerodynamic spoiler lip that not only visually sets a sporty accent, but also reduces lift on the rear axle. The rear diffuser, also made of CFRP, is taken from the BMW M4 GTS. It ensures a sporty and distinctive finish to the rear end and also integrates the four stainless steel tailpipes of the M Sport exhaust system. In addition, the diffuser, together with the front splitter, optimises the airflow underneath the car’s floor.
Due to the increased use of components made of CFRP, BMW is consistently pursuing the concept of intelligent lightweight construction in the new M3 CS, but the material also has some style advantages.
The CS comes with BMW’s individual High Gloss Shadow Line trim and has darkened rear lights and is available in a range of five distinctive exterior colours. As standard, the CS is painted in Alpine White, while optional colours are San Marino Blue Metallic, Lime Rock Grey Metallic, Frozen Dark Blue II Metallic and Black Sapphire Metallic.
The discreet yet sporty interior uses exclusive bi-colour Silverstone/Black leather and Alcantara. The lightweight M sports seats, which are sculpted to offer figure-hugging comfort are shared with the M3 with Competition Package. The seats guarantee perfect lateral support even when driving fast on the racetrack, but also offer very good long-distance comfort. BMW M stripes are incorporated in the front seat belts and seats.The rear seats also feature an exclusive, two-tone Merino leather in the same colour combination.
The most desirable accessory for the driver of the new M3 CS is the optional M Performance Alcantara steering wheel. It is covered in exclusive, anthracite-coloured Alcantara and has a silver ‘12 o’clock’ marking and offers maximum grip in all track driving situations.
The handbrake lever gaiter is Alcantara with grey contrasting stitching, while an exclusive red start/stop button adds to the sense of occasion. The interior trim features Alcantara, with a unique CS model designation. There are also special door sills featuring the M3 CS logo.