Thanks to more driven wheels, the M3 CS is actually quicker to 60 mph versus the M4 CSL.
BMW unleashed the 2024 M3 CS on Tuesday, meant to stand at the top of the M3 lineup alongside the hardcore, track-ready M4 CSL coupe. Like the CSL, the M3 gets a 543-hp twin-turbo inline-six and plenty of carbon fiber goodies. But it also gets a row of back seats and, more importantly, xDrive as standard.
The M3 CS shares much of its design tweaks with the CSL, with exposed carbon fiber on the splitter, roof, parts of the hood, air intakes, rear spoiler, and mirror caps. There are also black side skirts and a handful of unique colors, including the Signal green you see here. The M3 CS also gets the CSL’s M4 GT3-inspired frameless kidney grilles which, in our opinion, do a good deal to alleviate the unsightly front end found on the standard car.
The 3.0-liter S58 engine is unchanged from the CSL, making 40 more horsepower over the standard M3 Competition. That’s mostly thanks to an increase in boost pressure and tuning, according to BMW. Torque is unchanged at 479 lb-ft, getting to all four wheels via an eight-speed ZF automatic paired to an M-tuned xDrive all-wheel-drive system and an electronically controlled limited-slip differential in the rear. BMW quotes a 0-60 time of 3.2 seconds—nearly half a second quicker than the M4 CSL. Top speed is electronically limited to 188 mph.
Much has been changed under the skin to give the M3 CS a unique feel. The camber settings, dampers, steering, braking system, and anti-roll bars have been retuned specifically for this application, while stiffer engine mounts have been added to withstand the demands of constant track work. Staggered alloy wheels measuring 19 inches up front and 20 inches in the rear can be optioned in gold bronze or matte black. They’re equipped with either standard high-performance summer tires or Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 track rubber at no cost, depending on the buyer’s preference. Carbon-ceramic brakes are also available as an option.
Peek inside the cabin of the M3 CS and you’ll find much of the same changes seen in the CSL. There are red accents scattered throughout the dash, trim, and paddle shifters, and also a center console delete to save weight. The magnificent-looking adjustable carbon-fiber buckets make a return as standard equipment on the CS and include things like a heating element and an illuminated “CS” badge. More importantly, you’ll find a bench seat in the back, something the CSL deleted altogether to save weight. Interestingly, there are actually three distinct places for people to sit, unlike the M5 CS, which eschewed the rear bench in favor of two buckets.
The 2024 BMW M3 CS will start at $119,695, including a $995 destination fee—a substantial $37,900 jump over the standard AWD M3 Competition. The company says production of U.S.-bound cars will start in March 2023. So if you want one, be sure to have your checkbook ready.
Brian Silvestro Road & Track staff writer with a taste for high-mileage, rusted-out projects and amateur endurance racing.
Keyword: The 2024 BMW M3 CS Is an M4 CSL With More Seats and AWD