All the recent CS M cars have been great. Though some (M5) have improved more substantially on the base product than others (M2), all have been fantastic driver’s cars. Expensive, yes - but proof that BMW M knows what they’re doing when it comes to proper thrills - a nice distraction from everything else going on.
So there’s cause for some considerable optimism with the latest M3 CS, based as it is on the formidable standard G80 xDrive and with the same power as the Nurburgring crushing CSL. Just a shame it looks so OTT, really. And, of course, costs so much. But there might be a solution coming, at least from a styling perspective: you might be looking at an M3 CS Touring.
There’s nothing official for the moment, though it’s easy to see where all the excitable anticipation comes from, the just-in spy pictures showing a Touring pounding the Nordschleife with what seems like a lower ride height, the CS front splitter and ceramic brakes. It’s not a lot, sure, but it looks like another M3 Touring variant. And that’s got to be good news.
A CS would make some sense, too, given that model is xDrive only, as is the Touring. And it’s hardly like the model is a lightweight, stripped-out track special, taking just 20kg from the saloon. The modifications applied to the heavier estate are going to have broadly the same effect; a standard Touring feels an awful lot like an M3 to drive, so there’s no reason why a CS wouldn’t do the same.
BMW freely admitted the Touring is slightly less structurally rigid at the rear than the saloon, but this hardly registers in road driving - and while the wagon is already colossally fast, that doesn't mean that reworked dampers and recalibrated assists wouldn't promise a good deal more.
With CS saloon deliveries not due until later in 2023, we’re probably a little way off seeing a Touring equivalent (if, in fact, that's what this is) or even having it confirmed as a production reality. That being said, BMW had highlighted the UK as a key market for the car, and there’s enormous interest in the Touring over here (and elsewhere, going on its sales performance). Imagine, say, an M3 CS Touring debut at Festival of Speed, following last year’s reveal of the standard car? If there’s one thing guaranteed with a new BMW M model, it’s going to draw a crowd.
Images | S.Baldauf/S.B. Medien
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