The 2023 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 2023 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 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.
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.
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.
Unique, M-Typical Design
With its classic coupe proportions and a traditional vehicle concept that combines a front engine and manual transmission with rear-wheel drive, the BMW 3.0 CSL follows in the footsteps of its historic ancestor. Distinctive air deflection elements, powerfully shaped wheel arches, a striking rear spoiler and numerous other details are unmistakably based on the design of the legendary coupe from the 1970s.
At the same time, its appearance is characterised by the principles that have always applied to BMW M automobiles: The specific exterior features are based on the technical requirements in terms of cooling air supply, aerodynamic balance and driving dynamics, which form the basis for highly fascinating performance. In this way, the BMW 3.0 CSL expresses timeless racing passion in an emotional and authentic way.
Powerful Aesthetics Pay Tribute to The Historical Ancestor
Power and athleticism are signalised by the front end of the BMW 3.0 CSL, which sits low on the road. At its centre is the distinctive BMW kidney grille with a lattice-shaped insert in a diamond structure. Its upright position relates to the front design of its historic ancestor. Like the side window surrounds, the kidney frame is finished in satin aluminium – a design feature that emphasises the special status of the BMW 3.0 CSL. Together with the BMW kidney grille, two generously dimensioned recesses in the front apron, reminiscent of the air intakes on the 1970s model, ensure reliable cooling of the drive and brake systems even in extremely dynamic driving situations. Sculpturally shaped air fins on the bonnet accentuate the classic lines.
With their flat contours, the headlights create a characteristic focus on the road. The BMW Laser Light headlights shine in yellow, both during the welcome scenario after unlocking the doors and when the low and high beams are activated, thus making reference to successful GT racing cars. This detail is a subtle reference to the strong connection with motorsport and BMW M GmbH’s currently most successful competition vehicle, the BMW M4 GT3, which won both the drivers’ and team championships in the DTM in 2022 and whose power unit is based on the same straight-six engine as the power unit of the BMW 3.0 CSL. The BMW M4 GT3 achieved championship success right at the start of its racetrack career, much like the historic BMW 3.0 CSL, which once won the European Touring Car Championship in its inaugural season.
Viewed from the side, the long bonnet and wide wheelbase lend the BMW 3.0 CSL an appearance that is both sporty and classically elegant. The brand-typical coupe proportions in a three-box design also contribute to this. Particularly wide, diagonally offset side panels and wide side walls underline the dynamic appearance of the coupe even when stationary, with an air deflector extending along the roof line.
Wide Wheel Arches, Central Locking Wheels Produced Exclusively For The BMW 3.0 CSL’s Tyres
Muscular wheel arches give an indication of the large track widths that contribute significantly to the vehicle’s high cornering dynamics. They offer space for the forged light-alloy wheels in a Y-spoke design, these being 20 inches on the front axle and 21 inches at the rear. With their filigree spokes, a gold-coloured paint finish in the style of the 1970s and a centre lock, they represent a highlight in terms of design and driving dynamics adapted directly from racing. The integration of the model-specific wheels into the pre-assembled axles of the BMW 3.0 CSL is part of the manufacturing process at the BMW Group’s Dingolfing plant. At 930 Nm, the torque applied during the assembly of the centre locks achieves the highest value for a BMW Group production vehicle.
The forged light-alloy wheels are fitted with Michelin tyres developed exclusively for the 2023 BMW 3.0 CSL. They bear the number 50 embossed on the tyre sidewalls, providing another subtle reference to the anniversary of BMW M GmbH, on the occasion of which the special model was designed and built.
A Tail Wing In The Style of the “Batmobile“
The rear view of the BMW 3.0 CSL is also characterised by powerful aesthetics and reinterpreted design features of its ancestor. The most striking feature is the rear wing, which is enclosed at the side and translates the characteristic appearance of the “Batmobile” into a modern design language. Designed to generate additional downforce and thus optimise traction on the rear axle, the air deflector encloses the entire rear section, thus becoming a dominant visual element. For the benefit of aerodynamic balance, it is combined with a strongly pronounced carbon diffuser in the rear apron, thereby optimising airflow in the underbody.
The four tailpipes of the exhaust system, which are arranged in an arrow shape in the centre of the rear apron and feature a particularly lightweight titanium rear silencer, also provide a striking accent. The rear lights of the BMW 3.0 CSL use innovative lighting technology to generate a fascinating, exclusive night design and a particularly vivid radiance. This is achieved by filigree laser light threads that appear to be free-floating inside the lights and create an expressive 3D effect through precise superimposition.
The Most Powerful Straight Six-Cylinder Power Unit Ever Used in a Road-Legal BMW M Automobile
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.
Since then, the straight six-cylinder engine with M Power has undergone 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 2023 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.
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 linear power delivery up to a maximum speed of 7,200 min-1.
6-Speed Manual Transmission and Rear-Wheel Drive For Particularly Intense Driving Pleasure
To transfer the drive power to the road, the developers of the 2023 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.
In the traditional manner, the drive torque is transmitted to the road exclusively via the rear wheels of the BMW 3.0 CSL. For ambitious use on the race track, the driver can use the typical M linear build-up of lateral acceleration forces to steer the vehicle through bends with controlled drift manoeuvres. The Active M Differential in the rear-axle transmission also ensures superior dynamics. If necessary, it prevents torque compensation between the rear wheels and, at the same time, continuously and variably builds up a locking effect of up to 100 per cent. The Active M Differential is linked to the DSC (Dynamic Stability Control) and precisely adjusts its locking effect to the respective driving situation. For example, traction is optimised on roads with different friction values for the right and left rear wheels. When accelerating dynamically out of bends, the driver receives noticeable feedback on the grip potential on the rear wheels and can thus optimally dose the use of the accelerator pedal.
Puristic Sports Car Cockpit With M Carbon Full Bucket Seats
Also, in the interior of the 2023 BMW 3.0 CSL, the use of carbon and other lightweight construction measures emphasises the puristic sports car characteristics. Instead of additional seats, the rear offers a storage compartment with two integrated helmet compartments. CFRP trim in the door panels and reduced acoustic insulation also contribute to the extremely sporty flair. The driver and front passenger sit in M Carbon full bucket seats, which convey a highly emotional and inimitable racing feeling every kilometre of the way. The diagonal connections between the seat surface and the backrest are reminiscent of the construction principle of the lightweight seats featured in the historic model. Seat height and inclination can be adjusted exclusively via a three-stage screw linkage in a workshop. The longitudinal position can be varied manually using a lever at the front edge of the seat. In addition, the M Carbon full bucket seats offer removable headrest inserts.
Over and above that, the interior of the BMW 3.0 CSL presents itself as a sports car cockpit that is puristic and exclusive. Black Alcantara seat surfaces and M seat belts are combined with an M Alcantara steering wheel, an anthracite roof liner, black Alcantara and matt carbon surfaces. Contrast stitching and other accents in white correspond with the exterior paintwork of the BMW 3.0 CSL, the model lettering of which is embossed into both the door sill trims and the seat surfaces. The white gearshift knob symbolises the classic form of interaction between driver and vehicle when changing gears. The red start/stop button and the likewise red M buttons on the steering wheel are available for activating the engine and for direct access to the vehicle’s overall setup. The matt interior trims in a carbon fibre finish featuring sequential numbering for each of the 50 units available. This marking, documented in the interior from 01/50 to 50/50, corresponds in each case to the final digits of the suspension number, thus representing a clearly visible and authentic reference to the individual vehicle identity.