April 17, 2024

Wade Through Films

The Ultimate Driving Machines

BMW 3.0 CSL Unveiled As Ultimate Anniversary Present


BMW M has been celebrating its 50th anniversary all-year long. There have been several special editions and many new performance models added to the line-up. However, the BMW 3.0 CSL is the ultimate present that the brand could have created as the year winds down. Sad news for SA propeller heads is that the limited-edition model will not be coming to our market.

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The article below is used with kind permission of IOL Motoring.

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Looking Back

As the first road-going car conceived by BMW’s motorsport division, the 3.0 CSL of the early 1970s was a homologation special that quickly became one of the Bavarian brand’s most iconic cars.

And now the BMW Batmobile, as it was affectionately nicknamed due to its flamboyant aero tech, has just been recreated for the modern era. This is not to be confused with the almost-as-hardcore BMW M4 CSL that was revealed earlier this year. The new 3.0 CSL is an even more exclusive proposition, with just 50 of them – to mark its 50th anniversary – headed for production.

M4 Based

Although loosely based on the BMW M4, the 3.0 CSL is a very unique car in its own right, and it’s built with numerous handcrafted lightweight components at a special facility outside the Dingolfing plant in Germany. Each car takes up to 10 days to produce as it passes through eight different assembly cycles.

The new BMW 3.0 CSL is also the most powerful six-cylinder road car that the company has ever produced. Based on the competition engine that powers the BMW M4, the 3.0-litre turbocharged unit shoves out 412 kW of power and 550 N.m, and can spin to a maximum of 7 200 r/min. That’s 7 kW more than the M4 CSL offers, and 37 kW more than the M Competition musters.

Driver’s Car

Keeping with early BMW M tradition, power goes to the rear wheels only through a six-speed manual gearbox. That probably explains why BMW dialed back the torque by 100 N.m. This makes it no torquier than a range-topping Toyota Hilux. But power is king for a track tool like this, although we can’t tell you how fast it is just yet as BMW hasn’t mentioned any acceleration figures

Of course, this wouldn’t be a true successor to the original 3.0 CSL if it wasn’t a moving billboard for lightweight materials. To that end, BMW has made extensive use of hand-crafted carbon-fibre reinforced plastic (CFRP). CFRP is used on virtually all sections of the body, from the roof to the bonnet, boot lid, rear spoiler, diffuser and even the front and rear aprons.

The cabin is also bristling with carbon fibre and CFRP trimmings and components. It’s literally everywhere, and don’t be surprised if BMW sends you a complimentary carbon fibre toothbrush just for the hell of it.

Two Seater

To save further weight the back seats have been replaced by helmet holders for you and the front seat passenger. Both occupants get to sink into M Carbon full bucket seats that can only be adjusted in a workshop.

Keeping you in control whether you’re on the racetrack or that favourite back road is an M-specific Adaptive M suspension system. The M Traction Control system has 10 steps and an Active M Differential apportions torque between the rear wheels as needed. M carbon ceramic brakes provide the necessary stopping power.

Aero Optimised

You could probably fill a novel with all of the aerodynamic features that separate the new CSL from an M4. The striking rear wing, for instance, translates the ‘Batmobile’ spoiler of the ’70s into a modern design, while also generating additional downforce to keep the rear axle planted. It is paired with a strongly pronounced carbon diffuser in the rear apron. Upfront we see a unique BMW kidney grille. Two boldly sized air intakes in the front apron hark back to the original CSL.

Flared wheel arches house unique Y-spoke alloy wheels, measuring 20 inches at the front and 21 inches at the back. A gold paint finish and ‘Filigree’ spokes are a further salute to the ’70s icon. The wheels are shod with Michelin tyres that were developed exclusively for this car. To ensure that fact gets noticed, the number 50 is embossed on the sidewalls of the tyres.

But perhaps the biggest point of distinction is the paint finish. Alpine White Uni is combined with a stripe decor package in the BMW M GmbH colours. The base colour and M stripes are applied mostly by hand in a process that involves a great degree of time and effort.

Needless to say, the new BMW 3.0 CSL is going to cost more than your organs and your uncle’s mansion. BMW hasn’t mentioned pricing as yet. Rumours have pointed to a price tag of around €750 000, which equates to R13,2 million at today’s exchange rate.