Reborn Batmobile Has M’s Most Powerful Inline-Six Ever

It’s safe to say that 2022 has been good for BMW enthusiasts as they got not only the highly anticipated M3 Touring, but also the M4 CSL and the new M2. Saving the best for last, the pinnacle of M’s 50eanniversary celebrations is the revival of an icon – the 3.0 CSL. Paying homage to the 1970s Coupe Sport Lightweight, the modern E9 is touted as the “most exclusive special model” in M.

The signature kidney grille is similar to that of the 2015 3.0 CSL Hommage concept, but now features a grid-shaped insert in a diamond structure. The grille frame has a satin aluminum finish, which can also be seen on the side window surrounds. Those large front apron cutouts hark back to the original 3.0 CSL while fulfilling a functional role by cooling the engine and brakes. The hood-mounted air fins are also a throwback to the 1970s model.

Inherited from the M4 CSL, the laser headlights feature the same yellow accents as a tribute to race cars of yesteryear and the modern M4 GT3. The side profile reveals flared fenders and 20-inch front and 21-inch rear centerlock forged wheels. The shiny gold-painted shoes have a Y-spoke design and are wrapped in custom Michelin tires with “50” embossed on the sidewall to mark half a century M.

The most obvious connection to the classic model can be seen at the rear where BMW M has fitted a prominent wing in the style of the iconic Batmobile. The wing features a retro-flavoured M Power logo, is as wide as the entire rear of the 3.0 CSL and has closed sides, just like the original 50 years ago. The large aero element is complemented by a roof-mounted spoiler, similar to the E9 model.

The new 3.0 CSL, painted in Alpine White Uni with the traditional M graphics, uses the most powerful inline six engine ever installed by the Bavarians. The 3.0-liter twin-turbo is rated at 553 hp (412 kW) and 550 Nm (404 lb-ft). Interestingly, the torque figure is actually down by a significant 100 Nm (74 lb-ft) compared to the M4 Competition and M4 CSL. That’s probably because the ultra-exclusive special edition uses a six-speed manual transmission that can’t handle full torque.

2023 BMW 3.0 CSL
2023 BMW 3.0 CSL

The three-pedal transmission sends power exclusively to the rear wheels where BMW has fitted an M differential. Carbon ceramic brakes are standard, as is track-focused Adaptive M suspension with electronically controlled dampers. Inside, there are full carbon bucket seats, CFRP trim in the door cards and a white gear knob.

BMW will make just 50 individually numbered cars over the course of about three months. The paint job requires a specific process, while some CFRP parts are produced by hand. Each car goes through no less than eight assembly cycles at as many production stations during a complex process that takes no less than 10 days.

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