As you’ll know, 2022 is a very special year for BMW, with 50 years of the M subdivision. Today is good news for fans of the Batmobile – BMW has just brought the 3.0 CSL back from the dead in another celebration of the anniversary, as the original is just about one of the most iconic cars from the brand’s motorsport history, representing everything the M badge stands for.
Now, BMW’s design and styling department has been criticised in recent times for some… let’s say, controversial styling. This time around, though, we’re all for the 3.0 CSL’s modern take on the iconic 70s racecar and defy anyone to disagree. It’s simply breathtaking.
The M4 serves as the basis of this new iteration, but some clear nods to the original have been added, such as its unmistakable racing livery, a restyled, elongated slanted kidney grille with satin aluminium surrounds like from the E9 and simple, circular holes on the front bodykit reminiscent of the original racecar. It even has yellow running lights which make reference to GT racing cars when the car is unlocked and when the low and high beams are activated.
BMW’s reborn Batmobile wouldn’t be complete, of course, without a pair of protruding wings on the roof and rear of the car. There’s also the addition of a wide bodykit all-round, and retro satin aluminium surrounding the windows stamped with the BMW badge.
The car sits on forged lightweight alloy wheels finished in gold, measuring 20 inches at the front and 21 inches at the rear. These are also centre-locked, just like on a racecar, and wrapped with Michelin tyres specifically developed for the 3.0 CSL, and embossed with the number 50 in reference to BMW’s M anniversary.
The BMW 3.0 CSL has the most powerful straight-six engine ever featured on a road-legal M car. The original was a record-breaker in its own right, with an output of 203bhp making it the most powerful BMW ever produced at the time. The modern twin-turbocharged unit produces 552bhp which goes through to the rear wheels, and, you’ll be excited to hear, uses a six-speed manual gearbox. For context, the regular M4 has an output of ‘just’ 503bhp, even in full Competition spec.
The 3.0 CSL’s chassis has had a rework, too, with double-joint spring struts on the front axle, and the rear suspension using a five-link axle. It makes use of BMW’s Adaptive M suspension with electronically controlled damping. Stopping power is pretty heavy duty, too. The 3.0 CSL has carbon-ceramic brakes as standard, with six-piston calipers and 400mm discs up front, and single-piston calipers with 380mm discs at the rear. The M Traction Control system also offers ten stages of configuration to fine-tune the chassis hardware.
The interior is finished in black alcantara, with carbon-fibre bucket seats and a white-topped gear stick. Each car will have its number in the production run displayed on the dashboard. Just 50 examples of the 3.0 CSL will go on sale, but BMW has not divulged how many of these will be made in right-hand-drive for the UK market. We wouldn’t be surprised to see a price tag north of £200k.