The BMW 3.0 CSL Batmobile, is there anything else to say really. I mean it’s a car that all petrolheads would want in their collection simple as.

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The reason for this car lust for this writer is simply the look of the 3.0 CSL, I mean look at the details on the thing, the deeper chin spoiler to the bonnet fins as part of aero package including the difficult to miss rear spoiler. The engineering involved removal of luxuries such as soundproofing and replacement of glass with perspex and the use of aluminium in body panels for additional weight savings which was almost unheard of in the 1970’s.

Its just one of those cars that is simply unmissable and instantly recognizable to any BMW fan.

Introduced in May 1972, the 3.0CSL was a homologation special built to make the car eligible for racing in the European Touring Car Championship. The “L” in the designation meant leicht (light), unlike in other BMW designations, where it meant lang (long). The lightness was achieved by using thinner steel to build the unit body, deleting the trim and soundproofing,[8] using aluminium alloy doors, bonnets, and boot lids, and using Perspex side windows.[7] The five hundred 3.0CSLs exported to the United Kingdom were not quite as light as the others, as the importer had insisted on retaining the soundproofing, electric windows, and stock E9 bumpers on these cars.72_bmw_3.0csl_coupe_hagertyflickr_rank2Initially using the same engine as the 3.0CS, the 3.0CSL was given a very small increase in displacement to 3,003 cc (183.3 cu in) by increasing the engine bore by one quarter of a millimetre. This was done in August 1972 to allow the CSL to be raced in the “over three litre” racing category, allowing for some increase in displacement in the racing cars.[7] In 1973, the engine in the 3.0CSL was given another, more substantial increase in displacement to 3,153 cc (192.4 cu in) by increasing the stroke to 84 mm (3.3 in). This final version of the 3.0CSL was homologated in July 1973 along with an aerodynamic package including a large air dam, short fins running along the front fenders, a spoiler above and behind the trailing edge of the roof, and a tall rear wing.The rear wings were not installed at the factory, but were left in the boot for installation after purchase. This was done because the wings were illegal for use on German roads. The full aero package earned the racing CSLs the nickname “Batmobile”.

Chris Amon, Winner of 6 Hours Race 1973 at Nürburgring with BMW 3.0 CSL
In 1973, Toine Hezemans won the European Touring Car Championship in a 3.0CSL and co-drove a 3.0CSL with Dieter Quester to a class victory at Le Mans. Hezemans and Quester had driven to second place at the 1973 German Touring Car Grand Prix at Nürburgring, being beaten only by Chris Amon and Hans-Joachim Stuck in another 3.0CSL. 3.0 CSLs would win the European Touring Car Championship again in every year from 1975 to 1979.

The 3.0CSL was raced in the IMSA GT Championship in 1975, with Sam Posey, Brian Redman, and Ronnie Peterson winning races during the season.

The first two BMW Art Cars were 3.0CSLs; the first was painted by Alexander Calder and the second by Frank Stella.

02-bmw-art-car-1976-30-csl-stella-04_1280x768The 3.5CSL was built for Group 5 racing and BMW won three races in the 1976 World Championship for Makes with this model.header-black-bmw-e9-csl

 

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