May 22, 2015
Following a sneak preview, BMW have fully unveiled the 3.0 CSL Hommage at the annual Concourso dEleganza Villa dEste.
BMW have a history of bringing exciting concept cars to Italys premier Concours dElegance. After the M1 Hommage in 2008 and the 328 Hommage in 2011, BMW have re-interpreted the iconic Batmobile, the 1972 E9 3.0 CSL. Originally a homologation special, the E9 3.0 CSL used aluminium and plexiglas windows to shave a whopping 200kg off the 3.0 CS. Combined with giant wings, arches and fins that cemented its nickname, the cars focus was success on the race track. Created by the BMW Design Team, the 3.0 CSL Hommage is described as a tribute to a timeless classic.
There are few technical details for the BMW 3.0 CSL Hommage. There is but a reference to a six-cylinder engine with eBoost, making the 3.0 CSL Hommage a hybrid. The press release focuses heavily on the styling, and why shouldnt it? Finished in Golf Yellow (between Phoenix and Austin Yellow, with a dash more green), there are many elements clearly inspired by its 1970s namesake and others that are not so obvious. Karim Habib, Head of BMW Design, remarked We wanted people to sense the family resemblance rather than see it straight off. Well leave you to pore over the images and identify the similarities for yourselves.
To live up to the L in CSL (Coupe Sport Leichtbau / Coupe Sport Lightweight) there is extensive use of composite materials. Nowhere is this more apparent than the interior. BMW claim to have left all the carbon-fibre unpainted which suggests the body panels are not carbon. The steering wheel has been pared down to the absolute minimum. Two bucket seats feature six-point race harnesses, with rear view cameras replacing external mirrors. The only (slight) concession to form over function is the strip of wood arcing across the dash, a structural element being a nod to the originals interior design. The motorsport heritage is represented in the smallest details, such as the vertically-parked windscreen wiper. The observant will note there are only two pedals in a departure from the original, the 3.0 CSL Hommage has an automatic transmission, necessary for the hybrid powertrain that powers the rear wheels only.
As with previous concepts, the 3.0 CSL Hommage is strictly a concept car and so wont see production. It doesnt stop us wishing for the return of the CSL badge however, last seen on the sublime E46 M3 CSL. Hopefully the 3.0 CSL Hommage will not be the last time we see those three letters on a BMW.
Drawn to cars like a moth to a lightbulb. The automotive world is a life-long obsession for this engineer. If it has four wheels and an engine, chances are he can babble incoherently about it for hours.