BMW M turned 50 this year and celebrated by reviving one of its most legendary models: the 3.0 CSL.
Revealed last week, the new 3.0 CSL is a modern take on the homologation E9 special launched by BMW M in 1972, and considered to be the BMW motorsports and tuning division’s first car. The original, nicknamed the Batmobile because of its wild aerodynamic styling, went on to win on the track and essentially laid the foundation for decades of BMW performance cars to come.
BMW previously honored the original 3.0 CSL with the 3.0 CSL Hommage concept cars unveiled in the last decade, and some of the styling elements of those concepts have made it onto the new 3.0 CSL. In particular, the treatment of the grille and flared wheel arches helps set the car apart from the 2023 M4 CSL with which it is closely related.
Also setting the car apart from the rest of the BMW fold is limited production of just 50 units. BMW hasn’t named a price but rumors point to a starting figure of 750,000 euros (approximately $778,770).
According to BMW, the new 3.0 CSL is the result of five decades of motorsports experience. The car’s powertrain is a twin-turbo 3.0-liter inline-6 similar to what’s found in other BMW products but with output dialed up to 553 hp and 405 lb-ft of torque. The automaker says that’s the highest output for a production inline-6 from the automaker. The engine, which features a rigid crankcase, forged crankshaft, and specially designed oil supply and cooling systems, is mated to a 6-speed manual and drives the rear wheels only.
An Active M Differential can vary the torque between the rear wheels by up to 100% if necessary, using information supplied by the car’s stability control system. The wheels are center-lock units measuring 20 inches up front and 21 inches at the rear, and are wrapped in Michelin rubber. They attach to a double-joint spring strut suspension up front and a five-link setup at the rear. The car is also fitted with an Adaptive M suspension with electronically controlled dampers, as well as carbon-ceramic brake rotors.
Low weight was also a focus of the design. After all, the initials CSL stands for “Coupe, Sport, Lightweight.” Nearly all of the body panels are made from carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic, while the same lightweight material can be found in the cabin for the door panels and bucket seats. The curb weight is approximately 3,580 pounds.
The 50 units of the car are for worldwide sale. BMW is yet to say how many of those 50 will reach the U.S.
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