GREER, S.C. – It’s tough to understate how enjoyable the 2024 BMW M3 CS is to wrangle round a racetrack. Nevertheless entertaining and succesful you could be considering it’s now, it’s secure to boost these expectations, as a result of this high-po M automotive variant is a (rich) observe rat’s dream.
I drove the new-for-2024 M3 CS on the street simply previous to heading all the way down to BMW’s Efficiency Heart in Greer, S.C., and just like Editor-in-Chief Greg Migliore’s take, I discovered it to be fairly the fast sweetheart. Nevertheless, these Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires, countless carbon ceramic brakes and 543 horsepower from the three.0-liter twin-turbo inline-six (40 greater than the Competitors) merely can’t be exercised to their fullest on the road.
The adjustments BMW makes for the “restricted version” CS variant are much more in depth than the brief record above, too. BMW re-tunes the dampers, installs revised anti-roll bars and units distinctive camber settings. The soundness management system is tuned for observe work; lighter-weight wheels are used, and 75 kilos in complete is shaved off the curb weight of an everyday M3 Competitors xDrive.
As quickly as you compromise in and get comfy with how shortly the world strikes by you because of the extra highly effective inline-six – which will get its additional energy because of better increase stress and engine software program administration – it turns into abundantly clear how drivable and weapon-like the CS is. All-wheel drive can usually really feel like a crutch in efficiency vehicles, however the M xDrive system right here together with the track-tuned stability management completely guidelines. Exiting corners in a rear-drive M3 is a superb lesson in persistence and automotive management. Exiting a nook within the M3 CS provides you a way of invincibility that your heavy proper foot can do no fallacious – to a level, after all. You’ll be able to nonetheless loop it in rear-drive mode ought to a bout of overexuberance strike you on the fallacious time.
Get the CS into its completely satisfied M Dynamic Mode (MDM), although, and also you’ll get probably the most satisfying quantity of slip from the rear as you stick increasingly of your toe into the throttle, all whereas the fronts claw you ahead and out of a gradual nook. Stability management continues to be current, however the entire automotive’s pure parts are working collectively to make it really feel as if it’s simply you and the automotive with nothing in between. I don’t wish to name it video game-like, however I’d be mendacity if driving the CS doesn’t really feel a lot more durable than clipping apexes and maximizing throttle enter on nook exit in Gran Turismo with a simulator rig. That sense of suspended actuality applies to the quantity of grip afforded by the hilariously sticky Pilot Cup 2 rubber. BMW had different M vehicles available with the extra street-friendly Pilot Sport 4S tires put in. The distinction in road-holding, braking efficiency and sheer grip in each state of affairs is gigantic. Suppose you went too deep and missed the apex? Suppose once more. Come into that collection of sweepers with just a little an excessive amount of velocity? Nope, you simply weren’t going quick sufficient earlier than. The BMW Efficiency Heart’s observe is designed to show of us tips on how to drive, so it options tons of various nook sorts and elevation challenges, and the CS made a joke out of all of them. The sheer ease at which it makes navigating a technical observe was sufficient for me to begin cackling after a couple of laps. This chassis with these tires equates to a scrumptious recipe for track-driving elation.
Additionally giggle-worthy are the violently fast shifts from the fettled-with eight-speed automated, which is the one transmission possibility for the CS. Go flat out, and the shifts from second to 3rd and from third to fourth will mild up the rear tires briefly. The additional energy versus the next-tier-down – an M3 Competitors xDrive – is clearest right here, and whereas BMW claims 543 complete horses, the way in which this automotive strikes out down a straightaway makes it tough to consider there aren’t some reserve ponies BMW isn’t speaking about. Whenever you pull fourth gear and the numbers within the digital speedometer don’t appear to skip a beat of their fast rise upward, you understand the automotive is scary-fast.
The CS-tuned “M Servotronic” steering is weighted fantastically for attacking a racetrack and understanding grip ranges, too. You’ll need the marginally heavier “Sport” mode, however similar to many different new M automobiles, the steering continues to be mild but additionally fantastically exact. Its stiffened chassis makes a giant distinction versus a non-CS mannequin, because it gleefully adjustments path with better management and chassis predictability. The three,915-pound curb weight actually appears like rather a lot for a observe phenom, nevertheless it carries that weight in such a balanced and easy-to-control method that it by no means seems like a hindrance or barrier to hurry. In fact, the lighter the higher, so the extra-hardcore track-day fanatics would possibly choose the rear-drive M4 CSL, however you then lose the ruthless all-wheel drive system that makes the CS such an easy-to-control dance accomplice.
Additionally not like the CSL, the M3 CS is a delight to make use of as a every day driver. Electrically-operated heated bucket seats, the presence of rear seats, better sound deadening and a extra agreeable trip all make it the superior extra-M automotive on the street. For a way a lot enjoyable it’s to drive on the racetrack, it’s a real achievement that the CS just isn’t an abominable penalty field for bopping as much as the grocery retailer and again.
Having pushed all the line of M3 and M4 vehicles each on the street and the observe at this level, I can safely name the M3 CS my favourite of the bunch. That’s the alternative of how I felt in regards to the earlier technology’s CS fashions that merely made too many compromises – such because the weird door armrest deletions and bone-crunching trip – for doubtful efficiency features. The worth and restricted manufacturing of the CS are the 2 huge letdowns, because it begins at $119,695, or $34,400 greater than a very base M3 Competitors xDrive. Plus, BMW will solely be producing the CS for a restricted period of time, simply as did previous CS fashions just like the retired M5 CS.
From a efficiency and tools perspective – and perhaps even an look one when you prefer to stay on the wild aspect, this particular M3 variant is one to admire. Get the CS out to your native racetrack and revel within the functionality it displays. Because it stands right now, you’re going to be hard-pressed to have extra enjoyable in another new automotive with the BMW roundel on it.