BMW 3.0 CSL Returns, Revived with 553 HP and Six-Speed ​​Manual

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  • BMW has reinstated the 3.0 CSL name on a new limited edition sports car that echoes the design of the original Seventy-era CSL 3.0 and features a motorsports-inspired livery.
  • The 3.0-liter twin-turbo inline-six produces 553 horsepower; it’s the most powerful inline-six used in a road-legal BMW M car ever.
  • That motor is mated to a six-speed manual, and power is sent exclusively to the rear wheels. Only 50 units will be built.

Back in 2015, BMW signaled the revival of one of the most iconic sports cars ever with the 3.0 CSL Hommage R concept. It was a muscular modern interpretation of the custom-built 3.0 CSL homologation in small batches back in the 1970s, which earned the nickname the “Batmobile.” ” thanks to the race car’s dramatic aerodynamic package. Now, seven years later, BMW has finally delivered on that concept, reviving the 3.0 CSL nameplate for a new limited-edition sports car that seeks to distill the M division’s core values ​​and illustrious motorsport history into one vehicle.

While the cabin shape and overall proportions suggest that the 3.0 CSL shares bones with the current-generation M4, the 3.0 CSL’s bodywork is unique and one of the most attractive designs BMW has produced in recent times. We certainly wouldn’t call the grille small, but it’s not oversized like units on the new M4, i7, or XM super SUVs, and the satin aluminum trim flows neatly into the angular headlamps. The protruding fenders and dual rear wing arrangement are clearly reminiscent of the original “Batmobile” 3.0 CSL, as are the two circular air intakes carved into the front bumper and the small fin protruding from the hood.

The headlights feature yellow LED laser lights—a link to the M4 GT3 race car—and a sleek, sleek LED taillight reminiscent of the M4 CSL. Sturdy wheel arches house gold-coloured center-lock wheels measuring 20 inches front and 21 inches rear, wrapped in specially developed Michelin tires. The special-edition sports car also stands out thanks to its motorsport-inspired livery, with white paintwork accented by stripes in traditional BMW M colors like the livery on 1970s racers. Nearly all of the bodywork is made from carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP), with webbing visible in the lower trim elements, rear wing, and roof lettering, and most of the carbon components were produced by hand.

The same twin-turbo 3.0-liter inline-six found in the M3 and M4 lies at the heart of the 3.0 CSL, but has been tuned to make it the most powerful inline-six ever used in a road-legal BMW M car. , putting out 553 horsepower, a 50 pony increase over the M4 Competition. Torque output remains at 406 pound-feet, the same as the non-Competition M4, and all of this boost is sent to the rear wheels via a six-speed manual transmission. The 3.0 liter engine draws on technical know-how from BMW’s DTM racing program, with a rigid crankcase, lightweight forged crankshaft and 3D printed cylinder head cores, as well as a specially designed oil supply and cooling system.

To help manage all that power, an active M differential on the rear axle works with stability control to maintain traction and prevent drivers from banging their limited edition sports car against a wall. The front suspension uses a double-joint spring strut setup while the rear suspension is a multi-link design, paired with adaptive dampers and a variable-ratio electric power steering. Carbon-ceramic brakes are used to slow the 3.0 CSL, with a six-piston fixed caliper stop at the front and a single-piston fixed caliper stop at the rear. The calipers are painted red, and the traction control system has 10 selectable intervention levels, helping to customize the driving experience.

The cabin ditches the rear seats for a storage compartment that can fit two helmets, and carbon fiber has infiltrated the cockpit, with CFRP on the door panels and two bucket seats making extensive use of the lightweight material. The dashboard design is largely similar to that of the M4, and black Alcantara covers the seats, steering wheel and parts of the dashboard. White contrast stitching complements the unique gearshift knob, which has a retro design with the number 50 engraved into it to remind you how exclusive the 3.0 CSL is.

That figure refers to the fact that BMW will only build 50 examples of the 3.0 CSL, with all production taking place in just three months at BMW’s Dingolfing plant in Moosthenning, Germany. No word yet on pricing, but given limited production, we’d expect it to be significantly more expensive than the M4 Competition coupe’s $79,595 starting price, and likely even higher than the $140,895 M4 CSL cost. Potential buyers should also act quickly—with so few units available, it probably won’t be long before all of them are snapped up.

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