Count to five for hotshot M3

BMW fans with the wherewithal to buy into the M3 CS sedan need to act fast.

THE New Zealand allocation of the most potent M3 sports sedan yet, the CS, can be measured by the handful … or, rather, the fingers on one hand.

BMW New Zealand has also announced it has secured five examples from an entire build worldwide run of 1200 units and also released the price tag, which is unsurprisingly expensive … $235,900.

Sorry, when the standard M3 costs $159,900? Well, it’s not just down to low-build exclusivity.

The M3 CS sports a 3.0-litre twin-turbocharged six-cylinder petrol engine that outputs 338kW of power at 6250rpm and 600Nm from 4000 to 5380rpm, a 7kW/50Nm improvement over the previous family power-setter, the M3 Competition. The increases are down to an ECU tune.

It runs a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission.

BMW says the model can sprint from standstill to 100kmh in 3.9 seconds while on the way to an electronically limited top speed of 280kmh. That makes it 0.1s quicker and 30kmh faster overall than the M3 Competition.

The performance edge is not just down to its extra grunt. The CS has also dieted, with the kerb weight down to 1585 kilogrammes. This was achieved due to the extensive use of carbon-fibre and carbon-fibre-reinforced plastic for the front splitter, rear diffuser, bonnet, roof and driveshaft. Thus, the model’s power-to-weight ratio looks extra good at 213kW per tonne.

It runs circuit-suited Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tyres (265/35R19 front, 285/30R20 rear) as standard, while less aggressive Michelin Pilot Super Sport rubber is a no-cost option.

Braking is handled by compound discs with four-piston front and two-pot rear callipers as standard, while carbon-ceramic rotors with six-piston front and four-pot rear stoppers are optional.

Other standard equipment includes a sports exhaust system with quad 80mm tailpipes, a rear limited-slip differential, launch control, an adaptive suspension, adaptive LED headlights, tinted LED tail-lights and high-gloss black trim.

The interior is rich in Alcantara and two-tone Merino leather upholstery with grey contrasting stitching. An Alcantara-trimmed steering wheel, an 8.8-inch iDrive touchscreen infotainment system, climate control, a head-up display, a 12-speaker sound system and adaptive cruise control feature.

Five exterior paint colours will be on offer, including no-cost San Marino Blue and Black Sapphire metallics, and Alpine White, as well as extra extra-cost Lime Rock Grey and Frozen Dark Blue II.

BMW New Zealand spokesman Paul Sherley says the local market consignment is in keeping with the type’s limited nature.

The model’s release timing is still not clear. “We will have cars in the country later in the year.”