The BMW 3.0 CSL combines a unique design with a puristic performance experience in two seats. It conveys to the present day in an extremely focused manner the concept created in the 1970s of applying racetrack technology designed for sheer driving pleasure on the road. The BMW 3.0 CSL is produced in a strictly limited edition. To mark the anniversary, exactly 50 consecutively numbered units of the special model will go on sale. Right from the start, this gives the BMW 3.0 CSL the status of a rarity that will find its place in the vehicle collections of particularly loyal and enthusiastic fans of the BMW M brand. The BMW 3.0 CSL was developed with the intention of combining the best of five decades of racing expertise from BMW M GmbH in an automobile with a highly emotional aura. All facets of its character – dynamic exterior elegance, a classic sportscar cockpit, intelligent lightweight construction, a straight six-cylinder engine, manual transmission and rear-wheel drive – are based on traditional principles of a BMW M automobile. They complement each other with the help of the latest technology to create the ultimate symbol of fascination for top performance in the style of the brand that has been successful for 50 years. A ride in a BMW 3.0 CSL is therefore not only an exclusive high-performance experience, but also an emotional encounter with the history and the present of the world’s most powerful letter.
The production of all vehicles will take around three months. Each and every one of them is created with absolute dedication to excellence in craftsmanship and precisely coordinated technologies in an elaborate manufacturing process at the external location of the BMW Group Dingolfing plant in Moosthenning, Lower Bavaria. The exclusive interior carbon fibre reinforced plastic (CFRP) components are produced by hand both in Munich and at the BMW Group component factory in Landshut by specially assigned bodywork specialists. All in all, the extremely high proportion of individual manual work means that the time required to assemble a BMW 3.0 CSL is many times higher than that of a conventional BMW M automobile. After completion in the manufactory, each vehicle also undergoes a multi-stage quality inspection and approval process at the main Dingolfing plant before it is released for delivery to the customer. The BMW Group Plant Dingolfing is the company’s largest European production site. In addition to several BMW M automobiles, the luxury sedans of the BMW 7 Series and body components for Rolls-Royce Motor Cars are produced there. A specific process was also conceived for the paintwork of the BMW 3.0 CSL, in which craftsmanship and state-of-the-art technology complement each other to provide each individual part with its characteristic colour design. In addition, a team of 30 specially qualified and experienced technicians is responsible for the configuration and assembly of the vehicles. Due to the complexity of the processes in the manufactory, each BMW 3.0 CSL passes through eight assembly cycles at just as many production stations, a procedure that takes up to 10 days in all.
The road version of the racing car, which was developed for homologation purposes, became a widely known symbol of inspiring driving pleasure focused on the essentials, especially in its final stage of development. CSL – this combination of letters in the model designation stood for “Coupé, Sport, Leichtbau” (Coupe, Sport, Lightweight), a concise summary of the two-door car’s recipe for success. The new BMW 3.0 CSL is the contemporary reinterpretation of all these features anchored in its model designation. Its coupe-shaped body sets traditional accents for sporty elegance and expressive dynamics. Its drive and suspension technology stems from the latest developments for racing cars and high-performance sports cars from BMW M GmbH. And the intelligent lightweight construction reaches an outstanding level, above all through the extensive use of carbon. The power-to-weight ratio of the BMW 3.0 CSL is a mere 2.9 kilograms per hp. As an independent model from BMW M GmbH and despite the limited number of units, the BMW 3.0 CSL has undergone a complete series development process. In addition to the extensive quality and function tests and the driving dynamics tuning test drives under a wide range of conditions from city traffic to country roads and motorways to the race track, the BMW 3.0 CSL has also undergone comprehensive aerodynamic testing. Around 200 working hours were spent on optimising the airflow and aerodynamic balance of the vehicle, including 50 hours in the wind tunnel of the BMW Group’s Aerodynamic Test Centre. In addition, two pre-production vehicles of the BMW 3.0 CSL had to undergo a safety test in the form of a frontal and a side crash test in order to meet road legal requirements.
In addition to wide wheel arches, its coupe-shaped body also received an eye-catching aerodynamics package, which included a front spoiler, air bars on the front side panels and a roof spoiler. Completing the design modifications vs. the other coupes in BMW large series was a rear wing that optimised the grip of the rear wheels. It was not approved for road use and therefore lay in the boot when the vehicle was delivered, but nevertheless received much public attention so that the Coupe was given the nickname “Batmobile”. The reduced weight was achieved through comprehensive lightweight construction. The doors were made of aluminium, as were the bonnet and the boot lid, which were supported on filigree retaining rods after opening. Numerous other body components such as the roof, side panels and luggage compartment partition were made of particularly thin sheet metal, and the chrome bumpers were replaced by plastic skirting. Lightweight bucket seats and the omission of insulation material, power steering and electric windows ensured optimal weight reduction. An overall power-to-weight ratio of 6.2 kilograms per horsepower was thus achieved. With an increased displacement of 3,153 cubic centimetres and a maximum output of 151 kW/206 hp, the most powerful straight six-cylinder engine with direct injection ever used in a BMW model ensured sporty power delivery. The powerful drive system was combined with refined suspension technology. Its unladen weight was just 1,270 kilograms.
The BMW 3.0 CSL features the most powerful straight six-cylinder engine ever used in a road-legal BMW M automobile. This is also a tradition: in its final stage of development, the predecessor of the same name marked a new record with an engine output of 151 kW/206 hp – not only for six-cylinder models, but for all BMW production vehicles produced up to that point. The version of the drive system with M TwinPower Turbo technology, which was further developed exclusively for the BMW 3.0 CSL, mobilises a maximum output of 412 kW/560 hp. The new record for straight six-cylinder models from BMW M GmbH with road approval underpins the special status of the vehicle. Its engine develops a maximum torque of 550 Nm and fascinates with a linear power delivery up to a maximum speed of 7,200 min-1. Since then, the straight six-cylinder engine with M Power has undergone an impressive development. Engines of the same design mobilised an output of 204 kW/277 hp in the BMW M1 as early as 1978 and 250 kW/340 hp in the second-generation BMW M5 from 1991. The fifth-generation BMW M3 was launched in 2014 with a 317 kW/431 hp straight-six engine featuring M TwinPower Turbo technology.
The straight six-cylinder engine of the BMW 3.0 CSL possesses the same technological roots as the power unit of the current DTM winning car. The 3.0-litre power unit offers spontaneous high revving thanks to the typical M high-revving concept and comprises, among other things, an extremely rigid crankcase in a sleeveless closed-deck design, a forged lightweight crankshaft and a cylinder head core featuring 3D printing technology. The cooling system and oil supply are also designed for extremely dynamic driving situations. For its championship win in the DTM, the BMW M4 GT3 was powered by a version of the latest straight six-cylinder engine with around 600 hp which, in its version designed for large-scale production in the current models of the BMW M3/BMW M4 series, delivers up to 375 kW/510 hp. To transfer the drive power to the road, the developers of the BMW 3.0 CSL used a concept that has been tried and tested for decades for maximum driving pleasure and intensive interaction between driver and vehicle. The straight six-cylinder engine is coupled with a 6-speed manual gearbox whose spread and transmission ratios are ideally matched to the performance characteristics. Precisely defined gear shift travel enables fast and precise gear changing. The gearshift knob made exclusively for the BMW 3.0 CSL protrudes from the centre console and is a luxurious accessory. It immediately arouses anticipation for the manual gearshift, lies snugly in the hand and, with its white surface, the engraved gearshift diagram and the number 50, is reminiscent of the beginnings of BMW M GmbH in the 1970s. A tribute to modern technology is the shift assistant, which uses a connection speed control to ensure slip-free clutch engagement after downshifting when braking for corners. It can be activated or deactivated by the driver.
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