BMW M, the namesake of BMW's sportiest vehicles, is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. As the anniversary year and celebrations end, it's time to open the most extensive package: a brand new BMW 3.0 CSL, the company's most exclusive unique model ever manufactured.
Since 1972, many famous models with the letter "M" in their identification have piqued the interest of BMW fans worldwide. The iconic BMW M1 and the various iterations of the BMW M3 and BMW M5 can be found in history books. Driving machines have come and gone like pearls on a thread over the last 50 years.
Earlier this year, BMW unveiled models such as the all-new BMW M4 CLS, BMW M3 Touring, BMW M2, and BMW XM. The very special BMW 3.0 CLS, an exclusive unique model with historical origins and a renowned model designation, has been saved for the very end of the wreath cake.
The model designation "CSL" is accommodating. As a result, it has only been used by a few vehicles throughout history. "Coupé, Sport, Leichtbau" (Coupé, Sport, Lightweight) is represented by the three letters. The all-new BMW 3.0 CSL follows the same recipe as the legendary BMW 3.0 CSL, which debuted in 1973: racing technology developed for unadulterated driving pleasure and off-the-track enjoyment.
The racing version of the vintage BMW 3.0 CSL sports car swept the European Touring Car Championship in its inaugural season 50 years ago before repeating the feat five times in a row from 1975 to 1979. The street version of the racing car, designed for homologation, became a well-known icon of unadulterated driving enjoyment. One of the standout features was a big rear wing that improved rear wheel grip. It was not roadworthy and was in the boot when the automobile was delivered. Despite this, the car drew so much attention that it was dubbed the "Batmobile."
The sports car possessed the most powerful straight-six engine ever used in a BMW model at the time, with a displacement of 3,153 cubic centimeters and a maximum output of 206 horsepower.
The new BMW 3.0 CSL is a reincarnation of the legendary sports car. It possesses all of the characteristics a particularly purist vehicle should have, built on traditional BMW M principles: a powerful straight-six under the hood, a manual gearbox, and rear-wheel drive—combined with a distinctive design.
In keeping with tradition, the new BMW 3.0 CSL sports car includes the most powerful straight-six engine ever used in a BMW M for everyday driving. The engine has its technological roots in today's DTM motorsport and produces a maximum output of 560 horsepower and 550 NM of torque with a linear power delivery of up to 7,200 revs.
The engine is mated to a six-speed manual transmission tuned for the car's performance. A well-defined shift movement provides quick and precise shifts, contributing to maximum driving pleasure. The distinctive gear lever, designed just for the BMW 3.0 CSL, stands out with its white surface, engraved gear diagram, and number 50. Power is transmitted solely through the rear wheels, as is customary for a BMW M vehicle. The gearshift assistant, which adjusts the clutch engagement speed after downshifting when braking on corners, is an homage to current technology. The driver can enable or disable it.
The all-new BMW 3.0 CSL, with its traditional coupé proportions, follows in the footsteps of its renowned predecessor. The sculptural wheel arches, distinctive spoilers, and many other details, such as the air fins on the bonnet, are undeniably based on the design of the renowned coupé from the 1970s. The most prominent feature is the rear wing, which adapts the "Batmobile's" distinctive appearance into the current design language. The new BMW 3.0 CSL comes in the traditional Alpine White color, with an interior design in BMW M colors. The number 50, which appears on the doors and roof, refers to the anniversary and the number of automobiles made.
Almost every car section is made of CFRP (carbon-reinforced plastic). Furthermore, the top, bonnet, boot lid, and other components are composed of carbon. The new BMW 3.0 CSL has a power-to-weight ratio of just 2.9 kilograms per horsepower.
The interior of the new BMW 3.0 CSL stresses lightweight construction for true sports car features. Instead of rear seats, there is a storage compartment with two integrated helmet compartments. CFRP strips in the door panels and reduced acoustic insulation add to the car's athletic appearance. Driver and passenger sit on full-bucket M Carbon seats, which provide a distinctive racing sensation with every kilometer driven. The unique interior components in CFRP are handcrafted.
The BMW 3.0 CSL special edition is made in minimal quantities. Only 50 sequentially numbered cars will be on the road to commemorate the occasion. This elevates the all-new BMW 3.0 CSL to the position of a collector's item destined for the collections of BMW's most devoted followers.
The 50 automobiles will be manufactured over three months. The automobiles are configured and assembled by 30 highly qualified and experienced mechanics. Due to the complexities of industrial operations, each BMW 3.0 CSL goes through eight assembly cycles at as many production sites as possible, which can take up to ten days.
For painting the car, a completely different technique was established in which craftsmanship and cutting-edge technology complement each other to give each section its distinct color scheme. The base color and the M ornamentation are primarily applied by hand, which takes a lot of time and work. This technique involves the painting of 22 distinct pieces.
Overall, because of the exceptionally high amount of individual hand labor, the time necessary to assemble a new BMW 3.0 CSL is many times that of a typical BMW M car. Despite a limited number of units, the all-new BMW 3.0 CSL sports car has undergone a comprehensive series development procedure as an entirely different product from BMW M. It also means that two pre-production vehicles had to pay with their lives to pass the safety testing required for series production.
Each car will be numbered from #1 to #50 inside as live documentation of the 50 cars' identities and the unique tale behind the all-new BMW 3.0 CSL sports car.