Faster, lighter, more powerful: The limited edition BMW M3 CS

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BMW M takes a standard BMW, with its
“driver’s car” blend of sportiness and luxury, to another level
of power and handling. But sometimes the M people take that even
further with “special edition” models like the M4 CS and its new sibling, the M3 CS, into
which a comprehensive list of race-bred technology has been
integrated. The order book for this latest offering will open in
January and there will be only around 1,200 built.

From
the outside, the M3 CS instantly makes its intentions clear. While,
of course, BMW’s up-market style language sets the tone, the accent
is unmistakably M Series and clearly states that this is a
high-performance sports saloon. What is not so obvious at first
glance, however, is that underneath that purposeful stance is a
lightweight aluminum body structure and the extensive use of carbon
fiber-reinforced plastic (CFRP) body panels, keeping the car’s kerb
weight down to only 1,585 kg (3,494 lb). As an added bonus,
the CFRP panels lower the car’s center of gravity, endowing it with
handling agility that its creators say surpasses the standard M3.

As
expected, the interior continues the well-balanced blend of luxury
and sportiness with extensive use of leather and Alcantara in two-tone silverstone and black, with front seats from the
M3 Competition Package and an M sports steering wheel in anthracite
Alcantara complete with a silver 12 o’clock marker to let you know
where steering center is if you lose it while enjoying a bit of
sideways action. The top-shelf ambience is complemented with
high-quality ancillaries: the climate control is automatic, the sound
system is by Harman Kardon and the navigation system is BMW
Navigation Professional.

Which
brings us to the red start/stop button and the in-line six-cylinder
engine – a configuration that BMW has long endowed with
turbine-like smoothness – it switches into life. In this case, it
is a 3.0-liter unit with peak output of 460 hp (338 kW) at 6,250 rpm
and maximum torque of 442 lb.ft (600 Nm) from 4,000 rpm through to
5,380 rpm. Read “very drivable” for an engine that puts out 10 more horsepower and 10 percent more torque than the M3 with
Competition Package.

Expect zero to 62 mph (100 km/h) in 3.9 seconds
and a top speed that is electronically limited at 174 mph (280 km/h). Apparently the BMW M3 CSM has already posted an impressive 7 minutes, 38 seconds lap time on the Nordschleife of the Nürburgring.

All those power figures are achieved thanks to BMW’s well-proven
high-precision fuel injection, Valvetronic variable valve timing and
Double-VANOS variable camshaft timing combined with twin
turbocharging – all built on a rigid but light cylinder block. The
crankshaft is a lightweight forged unit for free-revving power
delivery and the lightweight magnesium oil sump is baffled to
maintain oil supply during cornering or braking forces of up to 1.4 g.

Getting
all that power to the rear wheels is achieved via a seven-speed
double-clutch transmission (DCT) with Drivelogic managing the
electronic control that includes the M Launch Control function to
help with that eye-popping zero to 62 mph rush. For “driver’s
car” pleasure, the DCT can be manually controlled via paddles on
the steering wheel, while for congested traffic or “I’ve had
enough smiles for one day” mode it can be set to fully automatic.

Further down the drivetrain is the Active M Differential with
electronically-controlled limited-slip function integrated with the
Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) system. Accelerator position, wheel
rotational speed and body yaw rate data are all fed into the DSC to
ensure optimal traction and stability via the engine management and
brake control systems. However, the driver still has some choices in
all this. M Dynamic Mode can be selected that allows more wheel slip
and even moderate drifts, letting the driver have more responsibility
for stability management.

Optimizing
the effects of the dynamically-controlled torque distribution to the
rear wheels and the precision of the M Servotronic electromechanical
steering, all the tires are kept in constant contact with the road by
Adaptive M suspension that features lightweight aluminum components
and for which there are three settings: Comfort, Sport and Sport +,
each with its own damper settings. Keeping the rest of the un-sprung
weight low are the 10-spoke forged light alloy wheels carrying
semi-slick but road-legal Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires: 265/35 R
19 at the front and 285/30 R 20 at the rear. Michelin Pilot Super
Sport tires designed to provide better grip in the wet are available as
an option.

With
all that speed and corner exit capability, the need for powerful
brakes is obvious. While the M3 CS come standard with the M3’s
lightweight M compound brakes with four-pot front calipers and
two-pot rears, those wanting even less weight and extended durability
can opt for M carbon ceramic units with six- and four-pot calipers,
respectively.

The
sophistication and capability of this limited-run, special-edition
offering seems guaranteed to make it very desirable. Perhaps even
collectible. The lucky owners will have a completely practical,
four-door saloon available for everyday use that, without any
modification, will undoubtedly prove itself to be a fearsome track
day toy.

The BMW M3 CS will be produced in a limited run of 1,200. No official pricing has been announced at this point, but as “the most powerful standard production vehicle of all time in the M3 model series,” we’d expect there to be a premium attached.

Source: BMW

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