Last year, the Bavarian automaker unleashed its most capable coupe yet, the all-new M4 CSL. With a 550 PS 3.0-liter TwinPower Turbo inline-six, heavy use of carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP) components, lightweight parts, as well as a bespoke suspension system, the M4 CSL was built by enthusiasts for enthusiasts.
But with just two seats inside the M4 CSL, this souped-up coupe is not exactly family-friendly. Luckily, BMW has released a four-door version complete with seats in the back in the form of the 2023 BMW M3 CS.
Under the hood of the M3 CS is a 3.0-liter TwinPower Turbo six-cylinder engine that has been thoroughly upgraded. With 550 PS and 650 Nm of torque, it produces the same output as the two-door M4 CSL. But with a (slightly) heavier body and a bench seat at the back, we can expect the M3 CS to be marginally heavier compared to the M4 CSL. After all, the 2023 M3 CS doesn't come with the “L” moniker which stands for “Lightweight”.
Despite the weight, the M3 CS does come with all-wheel drive which the M4 CSL lacks. Not only will this provide more grip, but the AWD system also offers peace of mind in tricky road conditions. More importantly, the M3 CS can go from 0 – 97 km/h in 3.2 seconds, 0.6 seconds faster than the RWD-only M4 CSL. But should drivers prefer their M3 CS to go rear-wheel drive, they can do so by setting the drivetrain to only send power to the back wheels.
Complementing the powerful inline-six is a track-tuned chassis and suspension system. It gets a cast aluminum strut bar that keeps the shock towers playing in unison while the camber angle, adaptive shocks, anti-roll bars, and steering have been set up specifically for the M3 CS. Meanwhile, the 19-inch front and 20-inch rear wheels are wrapped in sticky Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires that are derived from the M4 CSL.
Topping off the upgrades on the 2023 M3 CS is the use of more lightweight components. The hood, air intake, side mirror caps, rear diffuser, and rear spoiler are all made from lightweight carbon fiber. Meanwhile, the exhaust system is made from titanium to shed more weight. As a result, the M3 CS was able to lose 34 kg and tips the scales at around 1,776 kg unladen. However, the M4 CSL is still lighter as it was able to shed around 109 kg and weigh in at just 1,651 kg.
Hop inside the M3 CS and keen-eyed viewers will immediately notice that the four-door comes with the same carbon shell bucket seats found in the two-door M4 CSL. It also gets an Alcantara steering wheel for better grip, neat touches of carbon fiber throughout the cabin, and red contrast stitching that further highlights the sedan's sporty nature.
Perhaps the biggest upgrade the M3 CS has over the M4 CSL tech-wise is the new curved display. Whereas the M4 retains the brand's old-style screens, this M3 gets the new curved iDrive screen that was previously made available to the 3 Series last September. This gives the M3 CS a more seamless-like display.
BMW said they will make the M3 CS in limited numbers but did not reveal exactly how many. But since the Bavarian automaker only made 1,000 examples of the M4 CSL, expect the M3 CS to also be a rare sighting on the road.