Now that the current generation of the BMW M3 and M4 has been around for a few years, performance models are officially in full swing. Last year saw the debut of the M4 CSL, but this year BMW added the 2024 M3 CS to the lineup.

“CS” stands for Competition Sport, and if you’re already familiar with the BMW CS model formula, this model continues that trend. The 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged inline-six now produces 543 horsepower, a 40-hp increase over the regular M3 Competition. Torque output remains unchanged at 479 lb-ft. BMW says it gets the extra power by increasing boost pressure from 24.7 psi to 30.5 psi. It also makes model-specific changes to the engine management software.

BMW says the CS features specially designed engine mounts that create a stronger connection between the engine and vehicle structure. As a result, the throttle input and the transfer of torque to the drivetrain should be clearer. The CS will only be offered with all-wheel drive and an eight-speed automatic transmission, both of which are necessary to make it the fastest M3 variant, with a 0-60 mph time of just 3.2 seconds. That’s 0.2 seconds quicker than the non-CS M3 Competition xDrive model. Top speed is 188 mph, making the CS 8 mph faster on the top end.

For those who want rear-wheel drive, the CS’s AWD system can be set to 2WD-only mode with the stability control turned off. BMW also says it has optimized the oil supply to the multi-plate clutch to keep the system at peak performance on hard roads. Good luck to those with manual transmissions.

The chassis received some option upgrades to improve handling. BMW says it has tuned the electronically controlled dampers and anti-roll bars specifically for the CS model. Additionally, it features unique camber settings and model-specific axle kinematics tuning. The steering is uniquely tuned for the CS, as are the calibrations of the stability control and AWD systems. Michelin Pilot Sport Cup2 tires can be fitted as a no-cost option, but conventional (currently unspecified) high-performance tires are provided as standard. The tires wrap the standard forged wheels — 19-inchers at the front and 20-inchers at the rear — in either Gold Bronze or Matte Black. M Carbon ceramic brakes are available, but the M3 Competition xDrive’s standard brakes are fitted separately.

BMW made sure you knew it was a CS on the outside, with a unique kidney grille like the one seen on the M4 CSL. That grille has an “M3 CS” badge on its upper bar and has red outlines on its exterior as a sort of frame. The daytime running lights are illuminated in yellow as a nod to motorsport rather than the usual white light, as on the M5 CS. Exposed carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP) is used for the bonnet (two stripes are visible), roof, front splitter, front air intakes, mirror caps, rear apron and rear spoiler.

Weight loss is part of what makes a CS product. In addition to the exterior parts, BMW also equipped the CS with M Carbon bucket seats as standard. Plus, titanium mufflers were installed instead of the standard exhaust system. Overall, BMW says the M3 CS is 75 pounds lighter than the standard xDrive-equipped M3 Competition, and that’s before factoring in the additional potential savings from opting for carbon-ceramic brakes.

The display color you see in the photos here is an optional extra called BMW Individual Signal Green. Ice White Metallic is a color exclusive to the M3 CS, and the two no-cost paint options are Black Sapphire Metallic and Brooklyn Gray Metallic.

Inside, BMW offers a single black merino leather upholstery option for the seats. It’s speckled with Mugello red chips and scattered stitching. There’s a red “CS” badge on the center console, and “M3 CS” is also written on the door sill panels. The M steering wheel is wrapped in Alcantara and has a red center marker. Carbon fiber shift paddles are attached to it, and the interior continues the carbon fiber theme. Every M3 CS comes standard with the M Drive Professional package – this adds the M Drift Analyzer, lap function and 10-stage traction control. Finally, the M3 Cs gets the regular 3 Series’ new 14.9-inch curved display and a redesigned center console. It will run the revamped iDrive 8 infotainment system that the 2023 M3 adds to the roster.

BMW says the M3 CS will be produced in “limited numbers,” without specifying how many will be built in total. If you want one, prices start at $119,695 including destination charges. That’s $36,100 more than the base M3 Competition xDrive. Production started in March this year.

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