Hardcore BMW M3 CS revealed

The M3 interior is awash in Alcantara and leather

The M3 interior is awash in Alcantara and leather

Marking the new BMW M3 CS out from the regular Competition Pack model are a number of pieces of carbon-fibre and carbon-fibre reinforced plastic.

We've known it's been coming for a little while now, but BMW has finally announced the arrival of the M3 CS.

The chassis of the M3 CS isn't too different than that of the Competition Package, though it's been stiffened for track duty. All told the auto is about 110 pounds lighter than the conventional BMW M3 - and it also boasts a lower center of gravity.

However, the M3 CS will be more exclusive than the CSL; Bimmer's only building 1,200 examples worldwide. Chief among these are the roof, which saves 6kg over the standard steel item and a CFRP bonnet complete with M4 GTS air-intake, the entire piece weighing 25 per cent lighter than the metal equivalent.

Like the two-door coupe, the M3 CS is powered by a 3.0 litre twin-turbo in-line six-cylinder that serves up 460 hp at 6,250 rpm and 600 Nm of torque at 4,000 to 5,380 rpm.

Further lightweight components include a carbonfibre front splitter, a lift-reducing boot-deck-mounted Gurney spoiler and a sizeable diffuser.

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337kW and 600Nm. This is the M3 CS, the last word in "performance sedan".

Considering the M4 CS came with a price tag of $211,610 in Australia, expect the M3 CS to sit around the $200,000 mark when it lobs Down Under. But, despite its reductionist nature, the M3 CS still boasts amenities such as climate control and a Harman Kardon Surround Sound System.

Inside, the CS treatment continues with synthetic suede Alcantara applied about the interior and lightweight sports seats, along with leather upholstery in Silverstone and Black.

This endows the M3 CS with a power-to-weight ratio of 286bhp per tonne - some 20bhp per tonne more than the standard M3 and 8bhp per tonne more than the M3 Competition Package, according to BMW figures.

Power is channeled through a seven-speed M Double Clutch gearbox. A zero to 60 miles per hour sprint now takes just 3.7 seconds (down from the M3's 4 seconds), while the top track speed sits at 174 miles per hour. Those wheels are shod with Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tyres (265/35 profile at the front and 285/30 profile at the rear), but if outright performance isn't your thing, you can have Michelin Pilot Super Sport rubbers instead.

Australian customers will have an opportunity to get their hands on the M4 CS from March 2018, but production will be strictly limited with just 1200 units set to offered around the world.

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