Saving The Best For Last
CAR|October 2018
Saving The Best For Last

As the F80 M3’s lifespan draws to a close, BMW releases the best interpretation yet.

Terence Steenkamp

THIS is it, the last F80 M3 and, quite possibly, the last with a pure internal-combustion engine … or perhaps not. I quizzed BMW’s boffins on the international drive of this M3 Club Sport whether the next M car will feature electrification of its power train, and the answer was a justifiably vague one. I’d wager the G20-generation M product will combine an internal-combustion power unit with a supplementary boost function, as has suddenly become common in the premium sector.

Those thoughts, however, are far from my mind as I scythe round another superb mountain pass bend behind the chunky wheel of an M3 CS in Spain’s hilly Andalusia region. Offering 338 kW and a nicely rounded 600 N.m from the familiar 3,0-litre, twin-turbo inline-six, the limited-run CS naturally doesn’t quite punch with the fervour of an M4 GTS but feels mighty quick all the same. It has more character than the standard M3, too, sounding more guttural at low revs and potent as the rev needle chases the redline.

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October 2018