BMW’s M3 CS arrives with 542bhp and all-wheel-drive

More ‘hardcore’ M3 gets a significant power boost over the standard car.

BMW has unveiled a lighter, more powerful version of its M3 performance saloon – the CS.

Kitted out with a host of lightweight carbon fibre-reinforced plastic (CFRP) panels, the M3 CS aims to be sharper and even more engaging to drive than the standard car.

Under the bonnet, you’ll find the same 3.0-litre twin-turbocharged six-cylinder engine as you’ll find in the regular M3, but it has had its power raised significantly from 503bhp in the standard car to 542bhp in the CS. Torque sits at 650Nm and, when coupled with BMW’s xDrive all-wheel-drive system, this results in a 0-60mph time of 3.2 seconds while flat-out the M3 CS will manage 188mph.

It’s powered through an eight-speed automatic transmission, too, while drivers are able to tailor the all-wheel-drive system through the car’s infotainment screen. Switching to 4WD Sport, for instance, sends more power to the rear wheels for a more engaging drive.

The M3 CS’s chassis has been specifically tuned for this model, too, with bespoke wheel camber settings and individually tuned dampers, springs and anti-roll bars all contributing to making this car even sharper to drive.

All cars get M Compound brakes as standard, though these can be upgraded to ceramic versions as an optional extra. Forged alloy wheels in a V-spoke design come as standard too, with 19-inch versions at the front and 20-inch at the rear.

Photos: PA Media

The exterior of the M3 CS is finished in a white ‘frozen’ paint which is exclusive to this model, while exposed carbon fibre features on the roof, front splitter and front air intakes. Green, grey and black paint finishes are all available as different exterior colours too.

Inside, there are full carbon bucket seats upholstered in Merino leather, while CS lettering is applied to the centre console. You’ll find that badging on the door sills, too.

The M3 CS will be built in limited numbers.

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