At $98,999 on the road, the new 2019 BMW M3 CS F80 is over $20,000 more expensive than the already quite accomplished Competition Package version, so is it worth it? Power is up by just 10bhp to 454bhp, though torque jumps 37lb ft to a useful 443lb ft, thanks to recalibration of the twin-turbo straight-six. It breathes through a revised active sports exhaust that sounds particularly belligerent in Sport+ mode and drives the rear wheels via the only gearbox option – the excellent dual-clutch M DCT unit.
Still, BMW says the CS is a tenth of a second quicker to 62mph from rest, at 3.9 seconds, thanks in part to a 10kg weight reduction. That’s due to a (slightly) paredback interior, gorgeous new CFRP bonnet and boot spoiler, and stunning forged alloys There are other visual tweaks as well, making this the most aggressive-looking M3 yet.
Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tyres are standard and suspension tweaks are designed to make the most of the sticky rubber. And this is where the CS shows its worth – it’s the most engaging and competent M3 yet. Only 1200 examples of the new BMW M3 CS will be produced for worldwide sale and they’re selling out fast.
Above Swooping carbon-reinforced bonnet signifies CS spec; interior is pared back to save weight. A bit.