BMW’s 3.0 CSL Limited Edition: A Tribute to the M Division’s 50th Anniversary
The BMW 3.0 CSL has solidified its status as one of the most iconic vehicles in BMW’s illustrious history. The new BMW 3.0 CSL stands as a tribute to its predecessor, with the ambition of etching its own legendary tale.
A High-Performance Racing Icon
This high-performance sports car boasts pure racing DNA, an extraordinary and legendary design—a collector’s dream with a rich heritage. The 3.0 CSL represents the pinnacle of the M legacy.
Celebrating BMW’s M Division
In celebration of the 50th anniversary of BMW’s M Division, the company has painstakingly crafted a modern interpretation of the iconic 3.0 CSL from the 1970s. This exclusive model, limited to just 50 units, is currently in production at the Dingolfing plant in Germany. Remarkably, despite a starting price expected to be around 750,000 Euros, all 50 units have been swiftly claimed.
Craftsmanship and Engineering
The contemporary 3.0 CSL draws inspiration from the 2023 M4 CSL but incorporates unique modifications that demand meticulous hand assembly. These modifications encompass the crafting of specialized body components, including broader wheel arches requiring intricate welding and assembly processes. After the bodywork is meticulously completed, stencils are employed to apply colored stripes, and various components such as bumpers, hoods, and roofs are expertly painted. The assembly of these elements takes place within a dedicated construction center near the Dingolfing plant.
Each car’s assembly demands a team of about 30 skilled workers and a two-week process. Subsequently, the vehicles undergo rigorous testing on rolling test stands and brake dynamometers, with each car undergoing a test drive on the factory’s test track.
Delivery at the BMW Museum
Following these comprehensive tests, the vehicles are meticulously prepared for delivery, a prestigious event held at the BMW Museum, located at BMW’s headquarters in Munich, Germany.
Power and Performance
Beneath the hood, this exceptional 3.0 CSL features a twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter 6-cylinder engine, closely related to the powerplants in the M lineup. However, it outshines the M4 CSL with over 553 horsepower, making it the most potent 6-cylinder engine globally.
Impressively, these limited-edition collector’s cars weigh a mere 3,580 pounds, almost 100 pounds lighter than the M4 CSL. This reduction in weight is achieved through the use of carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic for body panels and lighter materials for door panels and bucket seats in the interior.
A Rare Find
With only 50 units in existence, spotting one of these 3.0 CSL cars on the road is a rarity, making an encounter with them more likely in a museum. This underscores BMW’s unwavering dedication to the illustrious history of its M division.
Despite initial criticism claiming the 3.0 CSL is merely a re-bodied M4 CSL with a manual gearbox and an additional 10 horsepower, this perspective oversimplifies the car’s extensive work and time invested.
BMW invests three months in assembling just 50 cars, with each vehicle featuring 22 individually painted parts. A total of 134 paint processes and 6,700 manual work sequences are meticulously executed in the paint shop. The reborn 3.0 CSL undergoes eight assembly cycles at eight production stations to faithfully recreate the coach-built body, paying homage to the original 3.0 CSL E9 “Batmobile.”
One of the initial customer cars, identical to the other 49, adorns Alpine White with retro M accents. It has been delivered to its owner, handpicked from those willing to pay the rumored €750,000 price tag. The entire production run was promptly sold out, despite the lofty price. Given their rarity, these vehicles are expected to hold their value well into the future.
A Limited Production
BMW is technically producing 53 cars, including the first two prototypes wearing distinctive camouflage, and the third unit, labeled 00/50, which will remain with the company. The 3.0 CSL was unveiled towards the end of 2022, marking the crowning achievement of the M division’s 50th-anniversary celebration, following a slew of new products, including the M4 CSL, M3 Touring, M2 G87, and the daring XM.
A Unique Offering
While the 3.0 CSL may not be the mid-engined supercar some enthusiasts had hoped for, nor is it an exact replica of the sleek 3.0 CSL Hommage R from 2015, it still garners significant appeal. It features BMW’s most powerful inline-six engine ever, paired with a manual gearbox, channeling power to the rear wheels. The question of whether it justifies a price tag nearly four and a half times higher than the M4 CSL on which it is based remains open for debate.
11 CSL Hommage to the German clients
The BMW OLD 3.0 CSL: A Racing Legend from the ’70s
The BMW 3.0 CSL was a grand tourer produced by BMW from 1971 to 1975. It was a derivative of the CS 3.0 coupe, an elegant and speedy sports car that underwent significant weight reduction.
In the early 1960s, the European Touring Car Championship (ETCC) was established, quickly gaining popularity and attracting the interest of numerous manufacturers. BMW’s ultimate weapon for this challenge was the BMW 3.0 CSL. The CSL was the first product to emerge from BMW’s newly created sports subsidiary, BMW Motorsport, displaying the iconic red, blue, and purple colors associated with sportier BMWs for the first time. It can be considered the predecessor of all subsequent “M” models. It also holds the honor of being the first BMW Art Car, blending art with technology, as two units of the CSL were decorated by sculptor Alexander Calder and painter Frank Stella.
In its street version, the CSL is a sleek four-seater coupe of considerable size, measuring a total length of 4.6 meters (181.1 inches). The body follows the design language of BMWs of its era, appearing rather understated, with only the tire size and a discreet stripe along the side hinting that it’s no ordinary car. Regarding the engine, the 3.0-liter six-cylinder was capable of delivering 180 horsepower (132 kilowatts) in its early carbureted versions, eventually reaching 206 horsepower (152 kilowatts) in the later fuel-injected iterations.
The evolution from the CS to the CSL included several enhancements such as aluminum doors and hood, plexiglass windows, stiffer suspensions, larger tires, and sport seats. These modifications reduced the car’s weight by 181 kilograms (399 pounds), radically altering its performance.
However, the CSL faced stability issues on the racetrack due to the high power output from the six-cylinder engine, which reached as high as 480 horsepower (353 kilowatts). This made the car overly twitchy and limited its effectiveness. To address this, BMW developed a striking aerodynamic kit that enhanced stability in competition. Due to the conspicuous modifications, the CSL quickly earned the nickname “Batmóvil,” a name that has become part of its history.
The CSL’s performance in competition was highly successful, winning the European Touring Car Championship in 1973, 1975, 1976, 1977, and 1978. It narrowly missed the title in 1974 when Ford secured the victory with the Escort RS 1600.
Production and Valuation
The total production of the 3.0 CSL reached 1,096 units, making it a relatively rare car. As for its current market value, prices typically range between €60,000 and €80,000