The baddest Bimmer: Faster BMW M3 CS announced

The newly announced 453 horsepower, carbon fiber-imbued 2017 BMW M3 CS special edition hones the already sharp performance of the BMW M3.

Antuan Goodwin Reviews Editor / Cars
Antuan Goodwin gained his automotive knowledge the old fashioned way, by turning wrenches in a driveway and picking up speeding tickets. From drivetrain tech and electrification to car audio installs and cabin tech, if it's on wheels, Antuan is knowledgeable.
Expertise Reviewing cars and car technology since 2008 focusing on electrification, driver assistance and infotainment Credentials
  • North American Car, Truck and SUV of the Year (NACTOY) Awards Juror
Antuan Goodwin
2 min read

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.

Stronger, lighter, faster: 2017 BMW M3 CS debuts

See all photos

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.

Adding power and subtracting weight is a proven formula for more speed and the M3 CS should deliver. 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 mph.

Astute Bimmerphiles who know their history will recognize this "save weight with CFRP while bumping up the power" blueprint from another famous BMW, the 2004 BMW M3 CSL. The "L" stood for "lightweight", with that special edition shaving 240 pounds from the E46 chassis by ditching much of the insulation, air conditioning and the audio system and replacing the greenhouse with lighter glass. The new CS doesn't go on nearly as dramatic a diet, hence the missing L and BMW's claim that this is the "first-ever" BMW M3 CS.

However, the M3 CS will be more exclusive than the CSL; Bimmer's only building 1,200 examples worldwide. Pricing has not yet been announced, but we do know that approximately 550 of those are headed to the States with orders starting in the US in May 2018. While you wait, let's start the countdown for the inevitable M4 CS version.