RE: 2023 BMW 3.0 CSL revealed

RE: 2023 BMW 3.0 CSL revealed

Thursday 24th November

2023 BMW 3.0 CSL revealed

Is there a better way to mark 50-years of M than a new, limited-edition BMW 3.0 CSL?


The press release for the BMW 3.0 CSL is long. Very long, but that’s acceptable when it’s covering a bespoke model with the sole purpose of celebrating M’s 50-year anniversary. Although at the very beginning there’s this paragraph:

‘The 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.’  

Is that rather a shame? I mean, to start off seemingly acknowledging that these cars will end up in those safety-deposit-box car collections, never to be seen again. I guess that’s the world we live in now. There is also a lot of talk about how this is a largely handmade car. About how each one takes 10 days to complete, by a team of 30 specially qualified and experienced technicians based at BMW’s Dingolfing plant in Moosthenning – the plant that, among other things, makes the body panels for Rolls-Royce.

The hand finishing extends to the paintwork, and the application of those distinctive M coloured stripes and lettering, along with the lightweight body panels that form its exaggerated wheel arches and the rear wing. Oh, that wing. It's perhaps the most obvious element that ties this 2023 3.0 CSL to the original. The original ‘Batmobile’ that, of course, blazed a trail in the European Touring Car Championship, winning the title in 1973 – its inaugural season – and repeating that a further five times in succession, between ’75 and ’79, in the hands of greats such as Toine Hezemans, Hans-Joachim Stuck, Chris Amon and Niki Lauda.

Among all the press-pack bluster there are a few salient points. For example, the 2023 3.0 CSL, which is based on the current M4, puts out 560hp. That makes it the most powerful production straight-six engine BMW has produced to date – just as the original 3.0 CSL’s 206hp straight-six was back in ‘73. And, like that, this CSL also comes with a manual gearbox. That’s right, there’s no eight-speed auto here; just a six-speed manual with ratios that areideally matched to the performance characteristics’ of the engine. You even get an engraved H-pattern on the bespoke, white gear knob.

The only modern twist is that this latest CSL has a rev-matching option and sends its power through an Active M Differential. This offers continuously variable locking – right up to 100 per cent of the torque going to one side – and, in case you’re wondering, the torque only ever goes to the two rear wheels. To help you manage that, it comes with M’s 10-way adjustable traction control system.

The twin-turbo ‘six’ also produces 406lb ft of torque in total, and, according to BMW, possesses the same technological roots as the power unit of the current DTM winning car.’ It revs out to 7,200rpm and has an extremely rigid crankcase in a sleeveless closed-deck design, forged lightweight crankshaft and a cylinder head core featuring 3D printing technology.’

As with the engine, the suspension is based around the M4’s. Up front that means a double-joint spring strut, while at the rear there’s a five-link arrangement specific to the M3 and M4. The CSL carries over adaptive damping, rather than switching to manually adjustable suspension, and retains M Servotronic steering with a variable ratio. Carbon ceramic discs are fitted all round – 400 mm for the front axle with six-pot calipers; single-piston fixed-calipers with 380 mm discs at the back. The calipers are finished in red, and there are the M-typical two settings for brakes feel adjusted through the infotainment system.

Right then, onto that largely handmade body. Some of it is made from carbon fibre reinforced plastic, but the roof, bonnet, boot lid, front and rear aprons, side sills, rear diffuser and the rear spoiler are pure carbon fibre. Other weight-saving elements include a titanium rear silencer that sheds around 4.3kg over steel, though there's not an overall kerbweight yet. The Y-spoke wheels are made of forged light-alloy (20 inches at the front, 21 inches at the rear). They’re centre-locking wheels, which the press release proudly points out are tightened to 686lb ft – 'the highest value for a BMW Group production vehicle.' Well, good luck changing a wheel at the side of the road, then. They're also finished in very fetching '70s shade of gold, and shod with Michelin Pilot Sport 4 S tyres that are unique to the car; there's '50' printed on the sidewalls to denote that fact. 

There’s plenty of weight saving inside, as well. For example, the CSL has less sound insulation, the door panels are CFRP, and the front seats are manually adjustable M Carbon full buckets. The rear seats aren’t there; instead, you get storage compartments for two crash helmets. As you’d expect, there’s lots of black Alcantara, including on the seats and steering wheel, along with matt carbon trims and contrast stitching that mirrors the exterior bodywork colouring. And each car is numbered sequentially, from #01/50 to #50/50.

Price? No idea as yet, or whether they’re all sold. We've asked BMW both questions but haven't received answers yet. I wouldn’t bet against those answers being (a) a lot, and (b) yes. And assuming they have all been snapped up, what a shame many may never be seen again until it’s time to turn a buck. Let's hope not though, eh?


Author
Discussion

Silvanus

Original Poster:

2,588 posts

7 months

Thursday 24th November
quotequote all
I know some people are going to love this but I think it looks terrible. I'm sure it's a great drive and very quick but it just looks big heavy and bloated. Like a middle aged chubby chap in a branded tracksuit.

MayNine

45 posts

45 months

Thursday 24th November
quotequote all
I'm sure it'll be great to drive, but yikes, that's ugly. It's like a bag of ideas all slammed together that's not helped at all by the paint job. At least the grill is a bit less offensive.

CrippsCorner

2,263 posts

165 months

Thursday 24th November
quotequote all
That front end looks so much better than the regular M4 - Maye hoping that'd be a facelift version incoming!? Nice wheels too, and of course a manual gearbox. Fantastic. BMW done good, for once.

M1C

1,589 posts

95 months

Thursday 24th November
quotequote all
Silvanus said:
I know some people are going to love this but I think it looks terrible. I'm sure it's a great drive and very quick but it just looks big heavy and bloated. Like a middle aged chubby chap in a branded tracksuit.
I have to agree.

I want to like it but.....hmmm.

Terminator X

12,530 posts

188 months

Thursday 24th November
quotequote all
Damn that looks ace, I can even forgive the big ish grill(e).

TX.

Mark_Blanchard

496 posts

239 months

Thursday 24th November
quotequote all
Shame the couldn't have stuck with the great looking CSL concept they designed.


pSyCoSiS

3,324 posts

189 months

Thursday 24th November
quotequote all
Not sure what to make of it. I like the idea and if they had stuck to the original concept design, I would have liked it a lot more.

But, fair play they made it and the manual box should make it a decent steer.

Silvanus

Original Poster:

2,588 posts

7 months

Thursday 24th November
quotequote all
M1C said:
Silvanus said:
I know some people are going to love this but I think it looks terrible. I'm sure it's a great drive and very quick but it just looks big heavy and bloated. Like a middle aged chubby chap in a branded tracksuit.
I have to agree.

I want to like it but.....hmmm.
I really wanted to like it too, love the original and I'm actually a fan of some other retro styled cars out there. This looks like some sort of Chinese knock off.

wpa1975

4,734 posts

98 months

Thursday 24th November
quotequote all
MayNine said:
I'm sure it'll be great to drive, but yikes, that's ugly. It's like a bag of ideas all slammed together that's not helped at all by the paint job. At least the grill is a bit less offensive.
Spot on, it is not a good looking car.

M1C

1,589 posts

95 months

Thursday 24th November
quotequote all
Mark_Blanchard said:
Shame the couldn't have stuck with the great looking CSL concept they designed.

Agreed. That looks so much better.

Limpet

5,724 posts

145 months

Thursday 24th November
quotequote all
BOBFOC


MrGeoff

485 posts

156 months

Thursday 24th November
quotequote all
I really wanted to like it, the concept was incredible, this is just a tad disappointing. I know it's an M4 platform but this looks a lot like a bodykitted M4. Ah well, not like I can afford one anyway.

Pughmacher

277 posts

27 months

Thursday 24th November
quotequote all
I’ll stick my neck out and say that the racing Batmobile e9 this is evoking wasn’t a better looking car than the normal road going version; at least in my opinion. Therefore this new one not being exactly a looker isn’t a massive issue to me. Well done BMW for doing something with the snout! Personally there’s a demerit for not making a CSL in numbers which actually make it possible to see one outside of a show or auction floor. I’m sure there are fans who’d have bought and used one if available and not so clearly aimed at air conditioned garages. But it’s a bit beside the point for me as I’d prefer an e46 and can’t afford either. I’d love to see how they were built mind.

ingenieur

2,143 posts

165 months

Thursday 24th November
quotequote all
It's a shame they're sticking with the buck-teeth thing.

BFleming

3,230 posts

127 months

Thursday 24th November
quotequote all
CrippsCorner said:
That front end looks so much better than the regular M4 - Maye hoping that'd be a facelift version incoming!? Nice wheels too, and of course a manual gearbox. Fantastic. BMW done good, for once.
Anyone hoping for a facelift that addresses the front of the current 4 series will be disappointed - it's not going to happen. BMW have made their bed here, and they're not going to cave at this stage, despite the European-wide general loathing of the looks.


NJJ

384 posts

64 months

Thursday 24th November
quotequote all
Mark_Blanchard said:
Shame the couldn't have stuck with the great looking CSL concept they designed.

I thought it looked pretty good......until I saw this. Everything it should have been, much like DB10 vs actual Vantage.

mat205125

17,044 posts

197 months

Thursday 24th November
quotequote all
Please can I have mine with all of the decals in grey on a gunmetal painted car

gwebby

12 posts

62 months

Thursday 24th November
quotequote all
Made by Tamiya (only uglier)...

Silvanus

Original Poster:

2,588 posts

7 months

Thursday 24th November
quotequote all
Pughmacher said:
I’ll stick my neck out and say that the racing Batmobile e9 this is evoking wasn’t a better looking car than the normal road going version; at least in my opinion. Therefore this new one not being exactly a looker isn’t a massive issue to me. Well done BMW for doing something with the snout! Personally there’s a demerit for not making a CSL in numbers which actually make it possible to see one outside of a show or auction floor. I’m sure there are fans who’d have bought and used one if available and not so clearly aimed at air conditioned garages. But it’s a bit beside the point for me as I’d prefer an e46 and can’t afford either. I’d love to see how they were built mind.
Thing is the original looked like it did for a reason, this is styling for stylings sake and a pretty disjointed effort at that. It just isn't a very good piece of car design, I know it will fly off the shelves, but that is down to the badge. I've long been interested in car design (almost went into it as a career), the Koreans and even the Chinese are proving to be better at car design/styling than BMW. Maybe that's because all the good designers working for the German brands went east.

Golfgtimk28v

584 posts

3 months

Thursday 24th November
quotequote all
the grille doesn't help.