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Most powerful M3 ever targets the Alfa Romeo Giulia GTA

The super refined, lightweight BMW M3 CS has arrived matching that of its M4 CS companion, it arrives as the most potent M3 yet, producing 542bhp and 479lb ft, from its twin-turbocharged 3.0-litre straight six, 39bhp more than the M3 Competition.

The M3 CS takes aim directly at the Alfa Romeo Giulia GTA and will outrun the rear driven Giulia GTA by 0.2 seconds, achieving 0-60 in just 3.4 seconds, with help from xDrive four-wheel drive system.

However top speed is limited to 188mph, so wont outrun the Italian.


Visually the M3 CS is told apart from the M3 Competition with a more aggressive look, at the front thanks to an open front grille matching the front end of BMW M4 CSL, as well as similar yellow DRL’s. Wide air intakes flank the new grille and the design is joined by a wide front splitter and some aesthetic black stripes on the bonnet.

At the back there is a lipped carbon rear spoiler, a deeper diffuser and new upright reflectors. Other design changes you will notice is an exposed carbon fibre roof, and special V-spoke gold wheels, 19” front and 20” rear, wrapped in track-focused types.

M compound brakes with red callipers are also fitted with carbon-ceramic brakes also being made available.


Lightness is the key to the new M3 CS’s performance, this is accomplished by the use of lightweight materials such as carbon fibre across the car and substituting out components for lighter alternatives, for example the interior and exhaust system.

All the weight saving makes the M3 CS 20kg lighter than the 1780kg M3 Competition.

For circuit use the chassis has gone through a bespoke set-up, with the M Dynamic driving mode being directed towards high-speed circuit driving through individually tuned axle kinematics and bespoke wheel camber settings, dampers, auxiliary springs and anti-roll bars.

The interior is vastly similar to the standard M3 Competition, but Merino leather seats are fitted as standard and CS badging features throughout.

You can opt for carbon fibre bucket seats.

Prices for the M3 CS start at £115,900, roughly £40k more than the M3 Competition, but considerably less than its £150,000 Italian rival.