Leaked images posted to social media have provided an early look at the new BMW M3 CS ahead of its official debut at the 24 Hours of Daytona race, kicking off on 28 January 2023.
It appears the high-performance variant is marked out from the regular M3 Competition by a sportier grille, more aggressively styled carbonfibre splitters at the front and rear, and black and red striped paintwork.
Inside, the new car is pictured on Instagram with a pair of carbonfibre bucket seats up front. The rear appears to use those from the regular M3 Competition, rather than the bolstered buckets found in the back of the larger BMW M5 CS.
BMW’s new iDrive 8 infotainment system – introduced to the BMW 3 Series line-up with the recent facelift – also appears to feature.
Specifications have yet to be detailed, but the model’s CS – ‘Competition Sport’ designation suggests a track-focused suspension set-up and a slight power uplift, as with the M5 CS.
For reference, the current M3 Competition’s twin-turbocharged straight-six engine makes 503bhp and 479lb ft, allowing it to dispatch 0-62mph in 4.2sec.
The same powerplant features in the BMW M4 CSL, but with turbo boost pressure upped by 25%. This increases the engine’s power output by 40bhp compared with the regular M3 and M4 units, to 543bhp.
This change may be mirrored in the M3 CS, but perhaps to a lesser extent to maintain the allure of the M4 CSL, given that model was developed to commemorate M division’s 50th anniversary.
Although little has yet been officially detailed about the M3 CS, M division did disclose its emissions and fuel economy in a statement on the new sales record it set in 2022. According to the WLTP combined test cycle, the M3 CS emits 229-234g/km of CO2 and achieves 27.1-27.9mpg. These figures almost match those reported for the four-wheel-drive BMW M3 Touring, which uses the regular M3 competition’s 503bhp engine.
The M3 CS may also use the xDrive all-wheel drive system to further distinguish it from the rear-driven CSL.
Pricing has yet to be revealed, but the M3 CS is expected to push beyond the £100,000 mark. A rear-wheel-drive M3 Competition starts from £79,870 and the four-wheel-drive variant starts from £82,665.