BMW arrives in Shanghai with more than just a new car.

BMW has arrived in Shanghai with a bang, introducing the new M4 CS and, with it, a new performance hierarchy in the world of German sport sedans.

The M4 CS sits between the M4 Competition Package and the M4 GTS. This new hierarchy is meant to convey a good-better-best nomenclature for performance-oriented enthusiasts.

To put it in a context with which you are already familiar, we'll use Porsche as an example. The M4 + Competition Package would be the 911 Carrera S; the M4 CS, the 911 GT3. The existing M4 GTS, then, is the BMW sedan equivalent of a 911 GT3 RS.

That makes this new CS a 'tweener of sorts. It gains 10 horsepower over the comp-pack M4, leaving a nice gap to the 500-horsepower GTS. BMW claims that's good enough for a 0-62 mph run of just 3.9 seconds. Top speed is electronically limited at 174 mph.

It also shares quite a bit with the Competition Package's suspension, though it has been retuned slightly. You'll find Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2s at all four corners (265/35R19s up front, 285/30R20s in the rear--on 9-inch and 10-inch wheels, respectively). "Road" tires are also available as a no-charge option.

If this sounds like just a slightly-warmer version of the already-hot Comp Pack car, you're basically right. But there's one catch. Unlike the M4 + Comp Pack, the CS is available exclusively with the seven-speed DCT. No manual here, folks.

The most interesting take-away here, however, is that BMW plans to extend this performance hierarchy to other cars in its lineup. Get ready for an onslaught of CS models, in other words.

U.S. pricing has not been announced, but the new BMW M4 CS will fetch €116,900 in Europe.

Live photos by Ronan Glon.