Features

Car pictures of the week: BMW M3 CS v Alfa Romeo Giulia GTA v Jaguar XE Project 8

In the current issue of evo we pit the formidable BMW M3 CS against two highly-specialised supersaloons. Here are some of our favourite snapshots

The new BMW M3 CS has enormous weight on its shoulders. Some of our favourite M cars of all time have worn the CS badge, and with the eCoty-winning M2 CS and M5 CS fresh in our memory, how does this harder, sharper M3 stack up? 

Very well, actually – our first drive earlier this year revealed it to be the most rewarding and capable G80 M3 yet. It’s hard to think of a modern supersaloon which can compare, so to put the M3 CS in context, we had to go more extreme. Or maybe it was an excuse to get our hands on an Alfa Romeo Giulia GTA and a Jaguar XE Project 8 once again…

You can read the full test in issue 316 of evo, which is available in-store or online via the evo shop. As Jethro Bovingdon noted, exploring the three wildly different characters of each car was fascinating:

‘Now the road is revealed by bright sunshine it’s easy to uncork the CS and see just how it fares against the track-optimised Project 8 and lithe, fluid GTA for pure speed. This car is wearing Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tyres, just like the Alfa, but it generates grip to match the Project 8 on the more extreme Cup 2 tyre.

'Coupled with a more responsive front-end and a four-wheel drive system that refuses to let the car slip into understeer, plus devastatingly effective body control and tightly-stacked gear ratios, the CS is simply irresistible.’

That enormous performance is the cumulative effect of detailed engineering changes throughout the car. Compared to the standard M3, the CS gets stiffer engine mounts, bespoke geometry, new springs and dampers plus a smattering of carbonfibre body panels. Its 3-litre twin-turbocharged straight six also gains an extra 39bhp and breathes through a titanium exhaust. 

But is that enough to edge ahead of the two of the most desirable, single-minded saloon cars we’ve ever driven? Pick up your copy of evo 316 to find out. 

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