The new BMW M3 CS is the latest vehicle from the Bavarian brand to be leaked ahead of its reveal.
BMW is set to officially pull the silks off its hotter M3 variant at the 24 Hours of Daytona, which runs from January 28 to 29.
The surprise has been spoiled somewhat, however, with leaked images published on the Bimmerpost forums. It’s the latest blow to BMW’s secrecy, with images of the X1, iX1, M2 and i7 also published online ahead of their reveals.
The M3 CS has received exterior styling tweaks also seen on the M4 CSL, including a restyled grille insert, a red outline for the double kidneys, black bonnet stripes, yellow daytime running lights, and a more aggressive front bumper.
Inside, there are grippy carbon buckets seats and various red highlights, including a 12 o’clock stripe on the Alcantara-wrapped steering wheel, the paddle shifters, the start button, and an embossed CS logo on the centre console.
The centre console is also finished in carbon-fibre trim.
The BMW Curved Display features, comprising a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster and a 14.9-inch touchscreen running BMW Operating System 8. BMW made this set-up standard fitment on M3s from July last year.
In the rear, there looks be a normal three-seat bench instead of the individual buckets of the M5 CS or the rear-seat delete of the M4 CSL.
A leaked document published on Bimmerpost last year said the M3 CS would feature all-wheel drive and a twin-turbocharged 3.0-litre inline six-cylinder engine producing 405kW of power.
While no transmission was listed, an eight-speed automatic appears likely.
That power output puts it lineball with the M4 CSL, which also produces 650Nm of torque.
We’d expect the M3 CS to be heavier as even if it does include some of the weight-saving measures of the M4 CSL, there’ll be a weight penalty with the inclusion of the M xDrive all-wheel drive system.
The M4 CSL has a tare mass of 1588kg, compared to 1743kg and 1738kg for the all-wheel drive M3 Competition and M4 Competition, respectively.
BMW stripped 100kg from the M4 Competition coupe to make the CSL, utilising more carbon-fibre but less soundproofing.
To make the M4 CSL, the M team also reduced weight by employing light alloy wheels, manually adjustable carbon bucket seats, lightweight M Carbon ceramic brakes, and carbon fibre-reinforced plastic for the roof, bonnet, boot lid and centre console.
Even with the extra 30kW over the M3 Competition, the CS won’t be able to match the outputs of the new Mercedes-AMG C63 S E Performance with its 2.0-litre turbocharged plug-in hybrid four-cylinder powertrain.
The AMG has total system outputs of 500kW and 1020Nm of torque, though it has a kerb weight of 2165kg – considerably porkier than any M3 or M4 due partly to the weight of the battery.
Mercedes-AMG claims a 0-100km/h time of 3.4 seconds, though despite being down on power and torque the M3 Competition xDrive has an almost identical 3.5-second sprint time.
The BMW M3 line has already been confirmed to be expanding in 2023 with the launch of the Touring, the first such time BMW has offered an M3 wagon.
It’s coming here early this year, offered only in a simple all-wheel drive 375kW/650Nm Competition variant and priced from $177,500 before on-road costs.
MORE: Everything BMW M3