BMW M3 CS Sheds the Pounds and Ups the Power
- The 2024 BMW M3 CS debuts as an even more hardcore version of the track focused M3 Competition.
- The M3 CS's twin-turbo 3.0-liter straight-six is boosted from the Competition's 503 horses to 543, matching the 2023 M4 CSL.
- The new M3 CS will start at $119,695 when its limited-production run begins this March.
For generation after generation, the smooth blend of thrilling performance and comfortable appointments has made the BMW M3 a household name. However, with the debut of the 2024 M3 CS, BMW ditches the regular sedan's livable demeanor for significant on-track gains, as it's even more hardcore than the track-focused M3 Competition.
Utilizing Maximum Boost
The chief change separating the limited-edition M3 CS from the rest of the lineup is higher power output. BMW retuned the CS's twin-turbo 3.0-liter straight-six to produce 40 horsepower more than the 503-hp Competition (and 70 more than the standard 473-hp M3) for a total of 543 horsepower. Most of the extra power results from raising the engine's boost pressure from 24.7 psi in the Comp to 30.5 psi in the CS. Torque remains the same in both versions at 479 pound-feet.
With technology derived from the M4 GT3 race car, the CS's cooling system is not only designed to handle the added power, but also the hardships of track use. The engine mounts are significantly stiffer to create a more rigid connection between the engine and the car’s structure, just like in the M4 CSL. With that said, expect noise, vibration, and harshness to be more pronounced.
Every M3 CS features an eight-speed automatic transmission with a rear-biased all-wheel-drive system. The M Setup menu lets drivers jump from the xDrive "4WD" settings to "4WD Sport" which directs even more of the engine's torque to the rear wheels. Or, just like in the all-wheel-drive Competition, drivers in search of sideways shenanigans can switch off stability control and activate "2WD," which sends power directly to the rear wheels. BMW claims the new M3 CS rockets from zero to 60 mph in 3.2 seconds. Its top speed is said to be electronically limited to 188 mph (when equipped with the M Driver's package).
Generous Serving of Carbon Fiber
To shave as many pounds off the Competition as possible, BMW uses generous amounts of carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic on the M3 CS. The roof, hood, front splitter, front air intakes, exterior mirror caps, rear diffuser, rear spoiler, center console, shift paddles, and interior trim strips are all made from the lightweight material. Even the titanium rear silencer fitted to the CS's exhaust is said to save more than eight pounds versus the standard system. In Bimmer speak, CS stands for Competition Sport, which in the case of the 2024 M3 CS means shedding roughly 75 pounds compared to the M3 Competition with standard M Sport seats. While that's not as impressive as the M4 CSL's 240-pound weight loss, it's still roughly one fourth-grader lighter than the M3 Comp.
Adjustable heated seats are optional in the M4 CSL but standard on the M3 CS. The seats are upholstered in Merino leather and feature a unique look that combines black with Mugello red accents and distinctive contrast stitching. Plus, unlike with the CSL, friends or family can ride along, because the CS actually has rear seats.
BMW says the 2024 M3 CS will be a limited-production model, but the company hasn't yet said how many it'll make in total. For comparison, the 2023 M4 CSL is limited to 1000 units worldwide. So, we expect the M3 CS will be produced in similar numbers. Either way, fans of the M3 who feel the Competition doesn't provide enough track-day theatrics will surely be more entertained by the CS version.
The 2024 BMW M3 CS starts at $119,695 and is slated to begin production in March of this year.