BMW M3

BMW’s M3 is nothing short of a legend. What started as a thinly disguised competition 3 Series for the street meant to satisfy a racing series’ rules has graduated into a sophisticated performance heavyweight. Today’s M3 is a four-door sedan (if you want a coupe or convertible, look to the M4) with a 3.0-liter turbocharged six-cylinder delivering 425 horsepower. Paired to either a six-speed manual or a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox, acceleration is ferocious. 0-60 mph falls in as little as 3.9 seconds. If that’s not quick enough for you, an optional Competition package bumps output to 444 hp.

Some drivers will argue that the rear-wheel-drive M3 has lost much of its finesse and tactility in its bid to generate even more eye-widening performance, and perhaps they have a point. But the 2018 BMW M3 is still a very special car, and thanks in part to continuous improvements to its iDrive infotainment system and updated safety systems, it’s actually a solid daily driver, too. The 2018 BMW M3 starts at $66,500 before options and delivery fees, which puts it right in the hunt with the Mercedes-AMG C63 and Audi’s forthcoming RS5 Sportback.

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Editors' First Take

The BMW M3 is already a tremendously potent sport sedan, but the German automaker has gone and upped the ante with the newly announced 2017 BMW M3 CS. The new special edition boasts more power, less weight and even more speed.

Starting in the engine room, the inline 6-cylinder M TwinPower Turbo engine gets a 28 horsepower boost and a 37 pound-foot bump. Peak output is now stated at 453 horsepower and 443 pound-feet of torque. The special edition's M Sports exhaust system has CS-specific sound tuning that I presume is more aggressive than the standard M3's already intimidating bark.

Meanwhile, BMW's engineers set about swapping in a selection of lightweight carbon fiber-reinforced plastic (CFRP) bits to save weight. The material is used on the roof, the front splitter, the trunk lid's "Gurney Flap" spoiler and the rear diffuser. Overall, the CS' carbon bits shave 110 pounds of weight relative to the standard M3.

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