The hottest G80 M3 variant looks like it's reaching the end of its development cycle.
BMW's design language may be controversial, but the performance of its special variants of M cars has never been in question. In celebration of its 50th anniversary this year, BMW M has been treating enthusiasts to a raft of new models, the most welcomed of which was the 543-horsepower M4 CSL. But the German automaker is not stopping there. The BMW M3 will be getting special treatment, too, reportedly arriving as the 2023 M3 CS. Rumors suggest that this car will produce around 540 hp, but is that enough when Mercedes-AMG's entry into the segment produces 671 hp? Well, BMWs have always focused on handling more than outright power, and its cars tend to produce far more than claimed anyway.
The M3 CS has been caught testing at the Nurburgring once again, this time with less camouflage than ever before. The test car you see here is only hiding the unique bumper design of the CS and its rear badges, suggesting that a reveal must be imminent. Like the M4 CSL, this hotter variant will get a special design for the kidney grilles, and if past M3 and M4 CS models are anything to go by, the taillights we see here may be swapped for something a little fancier, possibly incorporating laser technology as seen on the M4 CSL. But what of that massive power deficit to the Mercedes-AMG C63?
Let's take a look at that M4 CSL again. BMW claims that it produces 543 hp, and the M3 CS is expected to be just a few horses behind. But an independent dyno run has shown that the M4 CSL produces far more than claimed, recording a figure of 605 hp at the wheels. That's 62 hp more than claimed, and if the M3 CS is similarly overpowered, it won't be as far behind the C63's 671-hp claim as it may initially seem. Without the added complexity of a hybrid system, the M3 CS should have a considerable weight advantage, too, meaning that the fight between these two should be as close as ever. We can't wait.