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BMW 3.0 CSL Hommage : Concept Cars

It’s not uncommon for auto manufacturers to delve into their pasts for inspiration, but BMW has taken that notion to the extreme with its latest concept car: the 3.0 CSL Hommage.

Unveiled at the annual Concorso d’Eleganza held at Grand Hotel Villa d’Este on the shoreline of Lake Como in Italy over the weekend, the 3.0 CSL Hommage was built by the BMW Design Team to celebrate the iconic 3.0 ‘Coupé Sport Leichtbau’ (coupé, sport, lightweight) from the ’70s.

That original 3.0 CSL was born purely out of BMW’s desire to win the European Touring Car Championship. Initially the German automaker had used the beautiful E9 3.0 CS as the base for its works race cars, but with Ford dominating the class in its Cologne-built Capris, something a little more serious was called for. Based on the CSi (Coupé Sport, injected) version, the stripped-back-for-racing-homologation CSL received an aluminum hood, trunk and fenders, plus polycarbonate windows – and along with a front bumper delete, a plastic rear bumper and a bare-bones interior, a 200kg-odd weight savings was realized. Eventually sprouting wild aero through a ‘racing kit’, plus even wider dimensions for racing (there were some big tires to contain!), it’s not hard to see why ‘Batmobile’ became its moniker.

Like its name suggests, the 3.0 CSL Hommage takes its cues from the racing legend with spectacular results. On the design study, Head of BMW Design, Karim Habib, says: “For BMW designers like us, the BMW 3.0 CSL is a style icon. Its combination of racing genes and elegance generates an engaging aesthetic that continues to win hearts even today. The BMW 3.0 CSL Hommage celebrates many of those characteristic features, but without copying them. Indeed, some of the parallels are not immediately obvious. We wanted people to sense the family resemblance rather than see it straight off.”

Despite 40-odd years of separation, it’s not hard to see hints of the original in the 3.0 CSL Hommage’s dramatic exterior. Carbon fiber abound, the long body features distinctive air deflectors to vent the engine bay, wings over the rear wheels to push air around the car efficiently, and a large integrated rear wing to increase downforce over the rear axle. There are plenty of little details too, like small rearward-facing cameras in the place of traditional-type side mirrors, there to reduce aerodynamic drag.

BMW is renowned for its high-spec interiors, and even though the 3.0 CSL Hommage is built around a racing vision, it hasn’t come at the expense of elegance in the cockpit. Not by a long shot. Carbon fiber meets aluminum detailing in the cabin, but again there’s a tie in to the past with the wood trim dash insert.

For now the 3.0 CSL Hommage will remain a concept, but who wouldn’t want to see this car in production?!

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Sources : BMW 3.0 CSL Hommage Photo | BMW 3.0 CSL Hommage Article


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