New Models

BMW M is preparing to complete its 50th anniversary celebrations with the rebirth of one of its most iconic models, the 3.0 CSL ‘Batmobile’ of the 1970s.

BMW M looks set to resurrect one of its most iconic nameplates later this year, as a celebration of its 50th year in operation.

According to BMW insiders, the company’s M division will this year revive the legendary 3.0 CSL moniker – applied to an exclusive version of BMW’s 1970s ‘E9’ coupe, built as a homologation special for touring car racing – on a new special edition based on the M4 coupe.

Like the original, the new 3.0 CSL is slated to use offer more power than its donor car, less weight, hardcore styling, a manual transmission, and a 3.0-litre inline six-cylinder engine – now twin turbocharged.

Due to enter production this November, the new 3.0 CSL will be hand-built, according to BMWBlog, with new sheet metal inspired by the 1970s original draped over the current M4’s chassis (imagined above by digital artist @avarvarii).

However, with a rumoured planned production run of just 50 cars, it won’t be cheap; some reports claim a price tag as high as €700,000 to €750,000, converting to between $AU1.06 and $AU1.14 million.

BimmerPost forum member and reputable BMW insider ynguldyn reports the 3.0 CSL will use the standard M4’s 3.0-litre twin-turbo ‘S58’ inline-six engine, tuned to develop 418kW (560 horsepower) – up 13kW over the limited-run M4 CSL, or 33kW more than the regular M4 Competition.

But whereas the M4 CSL and M4 Competition use eight-speed automatic transmissions, the new 3.0 CSL is slated to feature a six-speed manual gearbox – a successor to the 1970s CSL’s four-speed manual.

How much torque the new 3.0 CSL will produce remains to be seen, as the standard M4’s manual transmission is believed to be limited to 600Nm (thus the road car’s 550Nm) – unless it benefits from strengthened internals. The automatic M4 CSL (below) offers 650Nm.

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Above: 2023 BMW M4 CSL.

Under the skin, new 20-inch front and 21-inch forged wheels are rumoured to feature – one inch larger than the standard M4.

Further details of brake and suspension have yet to surface – though the BimmerPost source says the new 3.0 CSL will be “mostly configured like the M4 CSL”, suggesting an eight millimetre-lower ride height than an M4 Competition, track tyres and standard carbon-ceramic brakes.

In line with the car’s lightweight aspirations – with a rumoured weight target of 1550kg – various comfort features will be deleted, including keyless entry, parking sensors and electric seats.

The lattermost is likely to see the M4 Competition’s power-adjustable M Carbon seats swapped for the M4 CSL’s hard-shell bucket seats, with backrest angles and seat heights that can only be adjusted with spanners in a workshop.

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Above: 2015’s BMW 3.0 CSL Hommage concept (green) and its hardcore ‘R’ derivative.

The 2023 BMW 3.0 CSL is rumoured to be revealed in full within the coming months – likely by September – as production is slated to begin in November 2022.

Speaking at the Goodwood Festival of Speed over the weekend, BMW M marketing boss Timo Resch reportedly confirmed “one more special M car” will be unveiled this year, according to BMWBlog – suggesting the first 3.0 CSL teasers may be on the horizon.

The car’s arrival so soon may surprise some BMW fans, given no camouflaged prototypes have been spied testing – though some online speculation suggests the bewinged, safety car-like M8 prototype snapped in Germany a year ago may have been a test ‘mule’ for the new 3.0 CSL.

Alex Misoyannis

Alex Misoyannis has been writing about cars since 2017, when he started his own website, Redline. He contributed for Drive in 2018, before joining CarAdvice in 2019, becoming a regular contributing journalist within the news team in 2020. Cars have played a central role throughout Alex’s life, from flicking through car magazines as a young age, to growing up around performance vehicles in a car-loving family.

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