When BMW launched the E46 M3 CSL(Coupé Sport Lightweight)last decade the car received such a warm welcome that all units were sold out shortly after its debut. To satisfy the needs of their loyal fan base BMW treated the rest of their customers to the M3 CS. The club sport was meant to bridge the gap between the regular M3 and the sold out CSL. Just like the way the Porsche 911 GTS bridges the gap between the 911 Carrera and the Porsche 911 GT3.
BMW has re-introduced the CS moniker for their M-Cars starting with the M4. Similar in vein to AMG’s S models the M4 CS will be going head to head with the C63S AMG coupé. The CS models will sit on top of the existing fully fledged M-Cars and will offer greater performance than the ‘base’ models.
Much like the E46 generation M3 CS the M4 CS comes in with an inline six cylinder engine, which unlike its predecessor is burdened with two monoscroll turbo chargers. The engine is a 3.0 litre unit which produces 338kw of power at 6250 rpm and a maximum torque of 600 Nm between 4000-5380 rpm. This is a slightly detuned version of the engine in the M3 GTS which delivers 30 more kw of power. In the CS the inline six cylinder doesn’t have the water injection system fitted in the GTS which BMW claimed helped it to have a higher power output.
BMW has adopted aluminium components in the suspension set up in a bid to reduce unsprung masses and overall vehicle weight. BMW’s adaptive dampers are standard fit but they have been reworked to provide optimum handling on either road or track. The weight saving measures don’t stop there as BMW has also used Carbon Fibre Reinforced Plastic in some of the body panels. The bonnet and roof are made from CFRP and the cabin benefits from light weight seats.
Unlike the hardcore GTS, the CS has been softened somewhat to appeal to audiences who aren’t track addicts but enjoy the occasional track day. As a result all the creature comforts one would associate with a premium compact executive car feature as standard in the CS. Automatic climate control and a high end stereo system come as standard as does BMW’s range topping Professional Navigation System.
Power is sent through to the Michelin Sport Cup 2 semi-slick tyres through BMW’s DCT gearbox. This enables the CS to sprint to 100kph in just under 4.0s(3.9s) and on to a limited top speed of 280kph. Michelin Sport Road tyres can be optioned at no additional cost.
The CS’ direct competitor is the C63 S AMG. However, even the standard C63 delivers more power and torque from its twin turbo charged V8. The C63 S produces 375kw of power and 700 Nm of torque but is burdened with more weight at 1800kg compared to the CS’ 1580kg. The C63 also comes with a speed limiter at 250 kph which can be raised to 290kph for a price.