2023 BMW 3.0 CSL

2023 BMW 3.0 CSL

BMW M has unveiled the crowning glory of its 50th-anniversary celebrations, the new 3.0 CSL. The car was designed to bring together the best of five decades of BMW M, and it’s based around the traditional principles of what makes a proper, old-school M car, which means a classic sports car cockpit, lightweight construction, a straight-six, a manual gearbox and rear-wheel drive. Just 50 consecutively numbered cars will be built over three months, and it’s a complex and involved process. For example, the exclusive interior carbon components are hand-produced by specially assigned bodywork specialists in Munich and at the BMW Group component factory in Landshut. Due to the complexity of the manufacturing processes, each BMW 3.0 CSL passes through eight assembly cycles at as many production stations, a procedure that takes up to 10 days in total.


As an independent model from BMW M, and despite the limited number of units, the 3.0 CSL has undergone a complete series development process as well as undergoing 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.


2023 BMW 3.0 CSL

In terms of aesthetics, the 3.0 CSL combines elements that echo the original E9, along with modern styling touches and nods to BMW M’s motorsport history and heritage. The side window surrounds and kidney frame are finished in satin aluminium, while the two large recesses in the front apron are reminiscent of the air intakes on the original CSL, and the air fins on the bonnet emphasise the classic lines. The halos on the standard-fit Laser Light headlights, meanwhile, illuminate yellow, in a nod to BMW’s successful GT racing cars.


2023 BMW 3.0 CSL

Filling the muscular wheel arches, you will find forged centre-lock alloys measuring 20” up front and 21” at the rear, finished in gold colour, while the Michelin tyres they come with were developed exclusively for the 3.0 CSL and have the number 50 embossed on the sidewalls. The rear wing echoes that of the original ‘Batmobile’ and generates additional downforce at the rear, while the carbon diffuser optimises underbody airflow. The 3.0 CSL comes with substantial quad exhaust tips located in the centre of the rear diffuser and uses a lightweight titanium rear silencer. The rear lights, meanwhile, use innovative lighting technology to generate an exclusive night design, with laser light threads that appear to be free-floating inside the lights to create a 3D effect. Finally, all 3.0 CSLs are finished in Alpine white with M tricolour stripes; both the paint and livery are applied by hand, while twin BMW roundels on the C-pillars are a neat reference to the original E9 CSL.


2023 BMW 3.0 CSL

Under the bonnet sits the twin-turbo S58 that you’ll find in the G8x M3 and M4, but here it’s producing 560hp and 406lb ft of torque, making it the most powerful BMW production straight-six ever. The car also comes equipped with the Active M Differential. The chassis, meanwhile, features a double-joint spring strut front axle and a five-link rear axle in M-specific design, plus Adaptive M suspension, along with M carbon ceramic brakes, with six-piston front calipers and 400mm discs, and single-piston rear calipers with 380mm discs. To ensure that the 3.0 CSL delivers the sort of handling you’d expect from an M car, extensive chassis development was undertaken on public roads and race tracks, including the Nürburgring.


2023 BMW 3.0 CSL - interior

To help keep weight down, carbon fibre is used extensively throughout the 3.0 CSL, and the roof, bonnet and boot lid are all made from carbon, along with the front and rear aprons, front and rear side panel attachments, the side sills, rear diffuser, rear wing and spoiler. Finally, there’s the interior, and the 3.0 CSL is a strict two-seater, with a storage compartment in the rear that offers space for two helmets. There’s carbon trim on the doors, while sound insulation has been reduced to give a more sporty driving experience. Up front sit a pair of M Carbon bucket seats unique to the 3.0 CSL; you can slide them fore and aft manually, but the height and angle have to be adjusted in a workshop via a three-stage screw linkage. The seats are finished in black Alcantara, and there are M seat belts, an M Alcantara steering wheel, and anthracite headlining along with Alcantara and carbon surfaces. The white gear knob with the number 50 on top is exclusive to the 3.0 CSL, and contrasting stitching and other accents in white correspond with the exterior paintwork, while the CSL lettering is embossed into the door sill trims and the seat surfaces. Finally, the matt carbon interior trims feature sequential numbering for each of the 50 cars. As for the price? Somewhere in the region of £750,000, making it the most expensive road-going BMW ever made.


2023 BMW 3.0 CSL

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