And yet, we can’t imagine BMW will have much trouble shifting the “limited numbers” it intends to make. We don’t know exactly how many, but the M4 CSL was capped at 1,000 units, to give you some idea.
Speaking of this car’s coupe cousin, both cars have the same power output - 542bhp, a sizeable bump over the 503bhp stock figure for the twin-turbo straight-six. The increase is thanks to, perhaps unsurprisingly, engine management fiddling and an increase in turbo boost pressure. It seems there’s a fair amount of headroom in the ‘S58’ six-banger.
The big differentiator between the two cars - body style aside - is that the CS comes with BMW’s xDrive all-wheel drive setup. This means the M3 is by far the quicker of the two, with superior traction off the line yielding a 0-62mph time of 3.4 seconds, which is three-tenths better than what the CSL manages. The top speed meanwhile is electronically-limited to 188mph.
Thankfully, M Division has done more than crank up the turbos to justify the £30k+ premium on the CS. The suspension has been thoroughly overhauled, featuring new spring rates, additional cast-aluminium chassis bracing, recalibrated adaptive dampers, a tweaked anti-roll bar and a retuned electronic stability control system.
As on the regular M3, there’s a carbon fibre roof, joined here by a bonnet, front splitter, front air intakes, mirror caps, rear diffuser and rear spoiler made from the stuff. There’s yet more carbon inside, used for the centre console, shift paddles and the bucket seats among other things. Combined with a titanium rear exhaust silencer - which shaves off 4kg on its own - those changes give the M3 CS a 20kg weight reduction. That feels like a bit of a token effort on a car that weighs 1855kg as standard, but hey, the carbon looks cool, at least.
Further uplifting the cabin is a new screen setup featuring a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster and a 14.9-inch infotainment display both running BMW’s iDrive 8 operating system, plus a smattering of CS badges.
On the outside, you’ll find a staggered wheel arrangement with 20-inch rims at the rear and 19-inch items at the front. They’re shod in a bespoke, more track-biased version of the Michelin Pilot Sport 4 S tyre. At the front, there are special light clusters that illuminate yellow instead of white, in a nod to BMW’s GT racing cars.
Finishing things off nicely on the car in the press pics is the suitably lurid Signal Green paintwork. Frozen Solid White (a CS-exclusive hue), Brooklyn Grey and Sapphire Black are also available for those wanting something a touch more subtle.