Schnitzer ACS3 Sport – Who Ordered the Canard?

Weirdly, the carbonfibre aero flicks share their name with French ducks. Less weirdly, look what BM’s sainted tuner has done to the M3

schnitzerThis ACS3 Sport is Schnitzer’s rolling showroom, kitted out with the Aachen-based tuner’s key suspension, engine, exhaust, alloy wheels, tyres and styling packages.

The simple menu structure that Schnitzer offers makes choosing specific upgrades much easier, and the company says it will work with customers to deliver packages tailored to budg­ets and requirements.

Styling is subjective, so let’s not argue over the ACS3 Sport’s looks. If carbonfibre wings, splitters, canards (that’s the posh term for those front-bumper flicks) and diffusers are your thing, then Schnitzer can indulge you to your wallet’s content. Ditto the set of lightweight forged AC1 alloy wheels. Personally, it’s all a bit Fast and Furious for me, but then I wear cufflinks and suede brogues, so what do I know?

Arguably of more interest are the perfor­mance and dynamic packages. The hard­ware power upgrade boosts output by 58bhp and 70lb ft over the Comp Pack to a formidable 503bhp and 4761b ft. It comes with an inclusive two-year warranty – cost extendable to three – and BMW’s warranty remains intact. This is complemented by the RS Adjustable Suspension pack and the sports exhaust.

Collectively, these packages lift the Comp Pack on to an altogether more visceral level. That performance boost means the BMW now hurls itself down the road at a rate that instantly dries your mouth and dampens your hands. Above 3000rpm there are great big dollops of neck-straining acceleration to be had, brutal enough to have the traction light sparkling like a discoball on an exuberant ’70s night. It’s viciously quick.

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A front splitter like this features in the nightmares of most small, slow-moving mammals

The suspension is nigh-cm per­fectly judged – sure, it’s very firm but it’s never jagged or brittle, and there’s less of the fast-moving anvil experience of the standard M4 and a welcome sense of agility. It feels far more biddable and friskier, as if a little helium has been injected into the chassis. A pity then, that the manually adjustable suspension does away with the push-button versatility of the M4’s adjustable set-up.

And that sports exhaust sounds, well, just glorious. Where the M4 Comp Pack sounds like a flatulent diesel generator, the Schnitzer roars, howls, spits and wails just the way you’d want a 500bhp supercoupe to – as long as you don’t live next door to it. Outstanding.

So, if you’re a current or poten­tial M4 or M3 owner looking for a dash more dynamic and visual aggression, then Schnitzer’s range of upgrades are well worthy of your consideration. Just go easy on those carbon canards.

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