Racing variant of BMW's 3.0 CSL concept could point towards future BMW M products
Mark Tisshaw
17 August 2015

BMW has revealed a racing version of its 3.0 CSL Hommage concept car at the Pebble Beach Concours event.

Almost identical to the concept unveiled at the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este in May, this updated version sports BMW’s racing colour scheme.

New improvements include a race suit that can display information to the driver. The driver’s helmet can display speed and engine information, while special piping in the sleeves illuminates when both the driver’s hands are on the wheel.

BMW Group design chief Adrian van Hooydonk said: "With the BMW 3.0 CSL Hommage R we're aiming to show how much closer the driver and car can grow in the future."

The minimalist steering wheel display provides the driver with information on the current track and race position. Other racing additions to the interior include a fire extinguisher system and an emergency shut-off.

The car revealed at Villa d'Este was described as a one-off recreation of the classic 3.0 CSL from the early 1970s, racing versions of which were nicknamed 'Batmobile' after their extreme aero packs were added.

While BMW insists the concept is a one-off creation with no production future, Autocar understands that the concept does still hold some significance for BMW’s future production models.

Senior sources have revealed that the concept is a statement of intent for BMW M division to build more extreme, lightweight models, which would be pitched as M’s answer to its great rival Mercedes-AMG’s Black Series versions.

This strategy is said to have the strong backing of new BMW M boss Frank van Meel, who joined the company from Audi’s RS division earlier this year.

The first model built to this strategy is set to be the M4 GTS, which has also been revealed ahead of a launch in the summer of 2016.

“The 3.0 CSL Hommage is a show car to test out some design features," van Meel told Autocar at the Nürburgring 24 Hours race earlier this year. "We are looking into a response to the show car but for us it’s always to get the feedback on whether people think it’s really cool. It’s not an overall concept we are thinking to make.”

The 3.0 CSL Hommage is the third Hommage car from BMW in recent years, following on from the M1 Hommage from 2008 and the 328 Hommage, which celebrated the 75th anniversary of the 328 racer in 2011. Like the 3.0 CSL Hommage, both the previous Hommage concepts were revealed at Villa d’Este.

The latest concept car is marginally bigger than an M6. It is 4997mm long, 2018mm wide and 1302mm high, with a wheelbase of 3190mm. For comparison, the M6 is 4898mm long, 1899mm wide and 1374mm high, with a wheelbase of 2851mm.

BMW hasn’t confirmed technical details of the car, other than the fact it is rear-wheel drive and below the long bonnet is a 3.0-litre straight-six petrol engine in combination with an ‘e-boost’ electric motor to aid with acceleration. 

Living up to its Hommage name, the modern-day 3.0 CSL concept car is constructed from an extensive use of lightweight materials, including carbonfibre-reinforced plastic,  a material BMW extensively uses on its i and M cars and much of which is visible on the show car. The original 3.0 CSL was some 200kg lighter than the 3.0 CS on which it was based thanks to an extensive use of aluminium in its construction.

The aerodynamic body of the new concept car is as dramatic as that of its forbear. There are vast flared wheel arches with extensive aerodynamic sculpting to channel the air towards the rear of the car. The wheel arches house 21in alloys shod in 265/35 tyres in front and 325/30s at the rear. Other notable exterior design features include the extensive air intakes, the large fixed rear wing, roof spoiler, front splitter and huge side exhausts.

In profile there is a nod to the roofline of the original 3.0 CSL, with a roofline that doesn’t flow into the back-end of the car.

The interior of the original concept was pared down and made almost exclusively of carbonfibre-reinforced plastic, save for some wood for the instrument panel, which was also a structural part. This wood was a reference to the wood interior of the original 3.0 CSL. Key driver information, such as the speed, revs and gear selection, could be shown on a display on the steering column.

BMW design chief Karim Habib said: “For BMW designers like us, the BMW 3.0 CSL is a style icon. Its combination of racing genes and elegance generates an engaging aesthetic that continues to win hearts even today.

“The BMW 3.0 CSL Hommage celebrates many of those characteristic features but without copying them. Indeed, some of the parallels are not immediately obvious. We wanted people to sense the family resemblance rather than see it straight off.”

Hooydonk added: “Our Hommage cars not only demonstrate how proud we are of our heritage but also how important the past can be in determining the future.”

See more of the 3.0 CSL Hommage R in BMW's video, below.

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Comments
16

13 May 2015
Given the success of the Mini, Fiat 500 and VW Beetle, I'm sure that there is a market for a more premium retro offering like this. Maybe that's why the Porsche 911 has been so successful, because it has stuck to its design roots?

23 May 2015
LP in Brighton wrote:

Given the success of the Mini, Fiat 500 and VW Beetle, I'm sure that there is a market for a more premium retro offering like this. Maybe that's why the Porsche 911 has been so successful, because it has stuck to its design roots?

Not sure the Beetle is a success. In London I see more 911's than Beetles.

24 May 2015
I think The Beetle has been a success, 2012 sales 107,939..... 2013 sales 109,517..... 2014 sales 91,464...... Considering they just do a two door coupe and convertible, thats great numbers, and proves that they do sell very well, infact far more than the 911.

289

13 May 2015
That 3.0 CSL Homage backend is a truly inspirational piece of design, Looks fantastic with design cues from the 'Batmobile'
used in the European Touring Car series.
Sad that any truly great design never makes it to market these days.

CCX

13 May 2015
That looks absolutely stunning. Why can't they make this...

23 May 2015
Good tribute that, looks exactly as should to my eye's. Apart from the silly steering wheel and maybe the mirrors there doesn't look like there's anything that couldn't make it into a limited numbers car

23 May 2015
the front end is a mess but, there is nothing wrong with challenging design in a world of boring, same-again cars.

 

I'm a disillusioned former Citroëniste.

24 May 2015
The above pics look like CGI renderings rather than an actual for real concept car.

Cyborg

24 May 2015
I think so,lose the Thunderbirds interior,tone down the front,that's all....that needs done.

Peter Cavellini.

24 May 2015
And how, please, do you open the luggage compartment of this car?

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