scandal, the M4 CSL is almost in the background

After the first leaked images of the M3 CS, BMW won’t be out of business for too long. Here are the key features in detail and time, there are a few surprises in store. The most radical of the M3s has xDrive automatic, and the M4 CSL outscores its coupe counterpart by several tenths. Well, not always…

A tradition that started with the M3 E46 in 2003, the CSL variant is the best version of the BMW sports car. But the CSL acronym (itself originated in the 70s with the emblematic E9 coupe) doesn’t have much left today. “Coupé Sport Leichtbau”, or lightweight sports coupé… In the M4 CSL, which was introduced last year and which we got our hands on at the end of the year (see our test), the acronym still holds its meaning because it is a coupé. , lightened by 100 kg. The BMW M3 (2014), which has long since become a pure sedan, therefore symbolically uses the CS badge and forgets the letter “L” when passing. Like the previous M3 F80, by the way.


Perhaps because the weight gain is not so dramatic: The M3 CS weighs 1,765kg, just 20kg less than the ‘classic’ M3 xDrive… and 35kg more than a single-drive M3! First surprise, the M3 CS is actually equipped with xDrive. Let’s face it, the all-wheel drive in the M3, which is supposed to be the lowest in the family, is enough to confuse some in principle. However, don’t forget that M xDrive, specially developed for Motorsport models, allows you to lock in pure drive mode.

carbon treatment

About 20 kg of drag a few marginal gains, completed each other: titanium muffler (-4 kg…), lighter hood and rear bumper, roof and bumper wing in carbon, as well as a fiber diffuser. Same treatment on board where M Carbon buckets are automatically available. It should be noted that the large dual screen appeared in the autumn of 2022 in favor of the restyling of the 3 series, which replaced the classic layout of the driving position as we know it. For the rest, the M3 CS remains visually very close to the M4 CSL and uses the same styling effects (yellow daytime running lights, hood and front bumper design, etc.).

about chassis, the M3 CS gets some tweaks. In addition to the firmer settings of the pilot suspension and the settings of the DSC (traction control) is a little more permissive, under the hood is an effective anti-compromise structure that improves overall stiffness. It’s pretty hard to define, in current usage… The direction has also become a bit sharper. Probably not enough to change the M3’s behavior, but to provide extra bite and a sharper touch to the road at high speeds.


BMW M3 CS (2023): scandal, the M4 CSL is almost withdrawn

Chronos: The most efficient of the M3 / M4 family

As expected, the 3-liter twin-turbo inline-6 ​​gains a few extra horsepower. Surprisingly, contrary to what we thought, the M4 CSL coupe does not retain the power privilege: The M3 CS benefits from the same optimizations, mainly more powerfully blowing turbos (change from 1.7 to 2.1 bar) and reprogramming. Thus, in the 6th row, it gives 550 hp (40 hp more than the “simple” M3 Competition) and a maximum torque of 650 Nm (at 2750 rpm).

As a result, the M3 CS is the fastest of the M3 / M4 duo against the clock, several of which benefit from xDrive. Motricity growth puts it this way 0 to 100km/h 3 tenths ahead of the M4 CSL: 3.4s vs 3.7sbut only 1 tenth ahead of the classic M3 xDrive! The M4 CSL regains its advantage thanks to its more favorable aerodynamics. 200 km/h in 10.9 s for it, 11.1 s for the M3 CS. Similarly, space permitting, the top speed for the M3 CS is now set at 302 km/h, compared to 307 km/h for the M4 CSL. Marginal gain? Perhaps, but between the very family-friendly M3 Touring and the ultra-exclusive M4 3.0 CSL (€750,000!), the Motorsport family has never been more complete.

Unit price: €157,000… around €47,000 more than the classic M3 xDrive. A gram is expensive for 20 kg gained. The price of exclusivity remains, let’s say. The M3 CS will be distributed in dribs and drabs: only 1,800 units will be produced, of which only 73 will be for the French market.


BMW M3 CS (2023): scandal, the M4 CSL is almost withdrawn

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