Last year, BMW unveiled a wild, hardcore version of the M4 Competition, the M4 CSL. Now, BMW is offering a similarly-powered but substantially different all-in take on the four-door M3 Competition for 2024 with the "lighter, stronger, faster" M3 CS.
Like the M4 CSL, the M3 CS pushes out 543 hp, a 40 hp bump from the M3 Competition, and 479 lb-ft of torque from its 3.0-liter inline-six; it exclusively uses an eight-speed automatic transmission. Unlike the M4 CSL, however, the M3 CS packs the M xDrive intelligent AWD system. The power and extra grip propel the M3 CS from 0-60 mph in just 3.2 seconds, 0.4 sec faster than the RWD M4 CSL. The M3 CS can hit a top speed of 188 mph.
The M3 CS also cuts weight by using lightweight carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP) for the roof, hood, front air intakes, mirror caps, rear diffuser and rear splitter. CFRP also makes it into the interior of the M3 CS in the center console, interior trim strips and shift paddles. M Carbon bucket seats and a titanium rear silencer also drop some weight. The total weight shed is about 75 pounds, bringing the M3 CS down to a still quite formidable 3,915 lbs.
For the BMW purists who appreciate the practicality of all-wheel drive but miss the RWD dynamics, the M3 CS will offer a RWD mode with the dynamic stability control disengaged. Drivers can also opt for a "4WD Sport" mode with a more rear-biased AWD.
BMW says it will build the M3 CS in "limited numbers" but has not said how limited. Production for the U.S. market will start in March 2023. The M3 CS will begin at $118,700, a substantial $36,100 premium over the M3 Competition xDrive. That is substantially less expensive than the $140,000 M4 CSL, though the M4 CSL came with more standard equipment — carbon ceramic brakes, for instance — that are optional in the M3 CS.