Amid the audacious design studies and automotive beauties from a bygone era gathered at the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este, the BMW Group presents its new BMW 3.0 CSL Hommage – and in the process makes a pretty formidable statement of its own. This model is the BMW Design Team’s tribute to the 3.0 CSL, a timeless classic and iconic BMW Coupé from the 1970s.
“Our Hommage cars not only demonstrate how proud we are of our heritage, but also how important the past can be in determining our future,” says Adrian van Hooydonk, Senior Vice President BMW Group Design. “The BMW 3.0 CSL Hommage represents a nod to the engineering achievement exemplified by the BMW 3.0 CSL in its lightweight design and performance. With intelligent lightweight construction and modern materials, the 3.0 CSL Hommage brings the character of that earlier model into the 21st century, showing it in a new and exciting guise,” he says, summarising the approach the design team took with the BMW 3.0 CSL Hommage.
“CSL” stands for “Coupé Sport Leichtbau” (coupé, sport, lightweight). With its aluminium bonnet, boot and wings, Plexiglas windows and equipment rigorously pared down to the bare essentials, the old BMW 3.0 CSL tipped the scales around 200 kg lighter than its sibling model, the BMW 3.0 CS. Unsurprisingly, then, it was predestined for a career on the race track. Whereas the material of choice in the 1970s was aluminium, today carbon fibre – or carbon-fibre-reinforced plastic (CFRP) – offers the optimum weight-to-strength ratio. These high-strength fibres are even lighter and stronger than aluminium. And the
BMW 3.0 CSL Hommage makes generous use of the high-tech composite, reinterpreting the concept of lightweight design for the modern age. Wherever CFRP is used, it is also visible – rendering the lightweight design principle tangible both inside and out. The BMW Group is a world leader in the production and application of CFRP in automotive design and can already boast many years of experience in series production of CFRP structural parts for the BMW M and, in particular, the BMW i.
Boasting one of the broadest and lowest front ends of any vehicle in the BMW Group, the BMW 3.0 CSL Hommage’s front exudes pure power and athleticism. At the centre, the characteristic BMW kidney grille stands tall in citation of the more upright styling of the kidney grille of yesteryear. The size and spatial depth of the kidney grille symbolise the output of the powerful six-cylinder in-line engine with eBoost. At the same time, the finely wrought geometry of frame and kidney struts lends the front end an air of quality and exclusivity. The characteristic four-eyed face gives a contemporary, hexagonal interpretation of front-end sportiness.
Laser light and LED technology facilitate slender, state-of-the-art lighting graphics, and the flat contours of the headlamps generate that characteristically focused BMW look. A stylised “X” inside the lights divides the lighting functions and conjures up memories of the X-shaped headlamp stickers once used in long-distance racing. Horizontal LED strips create a visual bond between headlamps and kidney grille while at the same time emphasising the broad, flat impact of the front end. A large carbon-fibre front splitter reduces the gap between road and front end and, in combination with the kidney grille, offers a modern interpretation of the earlier car’s highly distinctive shark nose. Two circular openings and a series of elongated slots pay tribute to other elements featured in the earlier car, but offer a new interpretation for the 21st century.