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BMW unveils performance-packed M3 CS

BMW has given us a first look at a new uprated version of its sporty M3 saloon, which produces 550hp and a 0-62mph sprint time of 3.4 seconds

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BMW has given us a first look at a new limited edition version of its sporty M3 saloon. Called the M3 CS, this range-topping variant offers more engine power, a bespoke chassis setup and more aggressive exterior looks.

The new CS is powered by the same twin-turbocharged 3.0-litre petrol engine as the M3 Competition which has been on sale in the UK since 2021, but BMW’s M Division engineers have modified this six-cylinder powertrain to produce an extra 40hp – 550hp in total.

This limited-run saloon is four-wheel drive as standard, and fitted with an eight-speed automatic gearbox. This engine upgrade, along with weight-saving carbon fibre-reinforced plastic components and a re-tuned chassis setup, means that the BMW M3 CS can reportedly complete a 0-62mph in 3.4 seconds – around three tenths of a second faster than the M3 Competition can muster.

BMW’s ‘M Drive’ package is included at no extra charge, which means that the saloon’s top speed is electronically limited at 188mph.

Like the limited-edition BMW M4 CSL coupé that was unveiled last year, the M3 CS distinguishes itself from the standard range by sporting a more prominent front splitter design and unique ‘V-spoke’ alloy wheels (19-inch alloys in the front, 20-inch in the rear). The large kidney grilles remain, but carry fewer internal vanes to give the sports saloon a meaner look.

The car is fitted with yellow LED headlights – a clear nod to the championship-winning BMW racing cars of the 1970s – and a special two-tone colour scheme highlights the indents in the bonnet. The BMW branding on the bodywork is outlined in red, mirroring the red brake callipers.

Splashes of red also feature inside on the carbon bucket seats and Alcantara-leather steering wheel. ‘CS’ branding appears on the centre console and seat belts, as well as the door sills.

BMW’s ‘iDrive’ curved display juts out of the dashboard, combining a 15-inch digital instrument cluster and a 12-inch infotainment touchscreen. BMW’s own navigation software comes as standard, as well as voice assistance tech. The system is also compatible with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay and a wireless smartphone charger is fitted below the dashboard.

Other tech features include a premium speaker system, two-zone automatic climate control, a head-up display and lane-keeping and parking assistance software.

To get your hands on this latest BMW special edition, you will have to part with just under £116k. This is a price increase of over £50k when compared to the lead-in M3 Competition. BMW says that the saloon will be manufactured in Munich, Germany, and adds that it will start taking M3 CS orders from March onwards.

The M3 has had a very positive reception from the British media since its arrival at the start of 2021, with all of the reviews we track commending the saloon for its impressive performance despite this latest generation being heavier and bulkier than its predecessors. It currently holds an Expert Rating of 84%.

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Sean Rees
Sean Rees
Sean is the Deputy Editor at The Car Expert. A enthusiastic fan of motorsport and all things automotive, he is accredited by the Professional Publishers Association, and is now focused on helping those in car-buying need with independent and impartial advice.