There was a time when the BMW M3 was the world’s go-to junior sports sedan. No other car maker consistently made fast, small-to-middling sedans in the M3’s early generations and nobody ever did it as well. Then the V8 came and the M3 was never the same again, losing its delicious poise in favour of muscle and manufacturing convenience. It returned to its sixiness in the current generation, but never quite regained the delicacy. Instead, it became a junior grand tourer. M knew all of this. It countered by making the M3 faster with the Performance Package, then faster again with the Competition Package and now with the CS it’s as fast as the road versions are ever going to get. Only 1,200 will be built (20 are coming to SA from July), and they’ll be a hoot, albeit a hoot at R1,773,500, which is nearly a hundred grand less than the M4 CS. By far the biggest gain in straight-up lap and cornering performance comes from the standard Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 rubber. They are wilfully, gl...

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