AC Schnitzer ACS3 Sport Review (2022)

AC Schnitzer ACS3 Sport Review (2022)

When we drove the ACS3 Sport, the RS suspension wasn’t quite signed off and the same was true of the woofly exhaust system, although the latest iterations of both were fitted to this carbon-sprinkled example, which also wore the full ACS3 Sport aero package. This includes the canards (just what the M3’s gorgeous mug needed, eh?), the diffuser, the wing and the gurney flap, plus the front splitter. All in, the extras are said to bring 110kg of downforce at 124mph.

Damp roads aren’t ideal for tasting something with torque bursting from its nostrils and without all-wheel drive, yet the ACS3 Sport is working nicely despite this. Oh so nicely. There’s real polish in the body’s movements, which play out with a sophisticated, sudden- but-soft quality recognisable from performance cars two pay-grades above the M3. Covering ground fast, the ACS3 Sport skulks low above the road, unperturbed by vagaries of the surface yet never feeling flighty or disconnected. It has a light but resolute gait that inspires confidence.

There’s also more cornering grip than I was expecting, and is the steering pick-up just a little crisper? I think it is. Of course, the M3 already has so much poise, and it’s impossible to fully appreciate small differences without back-to-back drives, but I’d say the Schnitzer brings a shade more control and delicacy to proceedings. These Rhineland roads are lusciously smooth but rare threadbare stretches also show that refinement doesn’t easily degenerate, even on those paper-thin 30-section rear tyres.