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Sunday, April 14, 2024

A manual, rear-wheel-drive throwback to the 1970s of BMW

Wapcar Automotive News –  BMW gives enthusiasts something to be grateful for this Thanksgiving. The company’s M division has unveiled a limited edition heritage-inspired model featuring rear wheel drive, called the 3.0 CSL, designed to honor the original 3.0 CSL, one of the company’s most iconic models. BMW.

Introduced in early 1972 to resemble the E9 during the European Touring Car Championship, the CSL designation stands for “coupe sport leichtbau”, meaning “light sport coupe” in German. Fast-forward 50 years and the reborn CSL stays true to tradition:

It’s a coupe, definitely sporty, and we promise it’s very light thanks to the extensive use of carbon fiber. BMW M points out that they have developed the 3.0 CSL in-house, which is more than just an M4 with a body kit and it ensures that the coupe is legal in European markets. 

Visually, the 3.0 CSL resembles more modern BMW coupes than its predecessor; it’s not a classic style car with round headlights. There are, however, some clear visual links between the two CSLs, including flared fenders and side panels, fiberglass-reinforced plastic roof-mounted spoiler, and a rear spoiler shaped like a car mounting parts. By the way, the wings of the 1972 3.0 CSL were nicknamed “Batmobile” and were not intended for road use (the spoiler was a novelty at the time), so BMW couldn’t deliver the car along. Instead, the company placed the spoiler in the trunk and left it to the owner to install it himself.

Back to the current:

Most of the 3.0 CSL’s body panels (including the roof panels, trunk lid, and door sills) are made from carbon fiber, and the coupe rolls on 20-inch wheels with specific central locking at the front and 21 inches. The rear is wrapped in tires developed by the manufacturer. Michelin. specifically for this. The Alpine Blue, Red and White paintwork is a throwback to the 1970s and it doesn’t look like BMW will offer any other color combinations.

The cabin looks familiar if you’ve ever sat in a newer BMW, but there are some cool features scattered throughout. One is the gearshift lever, finished in white and engraved with the gear lever pattern as well as the number 50. The carbon fiber trim reminds the driver and passengers of the vehicle’s lightweight construction. We say “one-passenger” because there are no rear seats. Instead, the space behind the M carbon tank front seats is reserved for a storage compartment designed to hold racing helmets. And while BMW removed much of the soundproofing material to save weight, the 3.0 CSL offers features like air conditioning and a touchscreen infotainment system.

Power for the 3.0 CSL comes from a 3.0-liter inline-six built with a lightly forged crankshaft and a competitor-sourced cooling and oil supply system. The twin-turbo engine is related to the engine found in the current-generation M3 and M4, but tuned to make 560 horsepower and 404 pound-feet of torque; BMW proudly notes that this is the most powerful inline-six engine ever installed in a road-legal vehicle. 

The engine spins the rear wheels through a six-speed manual transmission, and you’re out of luck if you want four-wheel drive, automatic or both. For context, the original 3.0 CSL (pictured above) used a naturally aspirated 3.2-liter inline-six that made 206 hp and was hailed as a powerful six-cylinder. most of the BMW M to this day. That was a lot of power in those days; a base 2002 came with a 100-hp engine.

BMW hasn’t released performance figures yet, but the 3.0 CSL should be as fast as it looks. It will also deliver the handling that fans expect from an M-branded coupe thanks in part to the Adaptive M suspension and variable-ratio electromechanical steering. Standard carbon-ceramic brakes feature six-piston front calipers and larger rotors than the stock 3.0 CSL wheels.

Production of the 3.0 CSL is limited to 50 units, some selected when the BMW M turns 50 in 2022, but none will go on sale officially in the United States. Each example will be identified by a serial number engraved on a carbon fiber trim on the passenger side of the dashboard and is expected to take around three months to build; The many carbon fiber parts scattered throughout the cabin are remarkably handcrafted.

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