Seven years since it unveiled the M1 Hommage, a concept car paying tribute to the iconic M1, or BMW’s only true-blue sports car as of 2015, the Bavarian automaker introduced the 3.0 CSL Hommage at the 2015 Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este. As the name suggests, this new concept celebrates the 3.0 CSL, an homologation special launched in 1972 and the brand’s most successful race car. Nicknamed the "Batmobile" due to its extreme aerodynamic package, the 3.0 CSL scored resounding wins at Sebring, Daytona and Talladega, where it defeated the Porsche 935, among other famous race cars. With more than 100 wins under its belt, the 3.0 CSL definitely deserves a modern homage.

“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,” said Adrian van Hooydonk, vice president of BMW Design. Although this may sound like a hint of things to come, it’s very unlikely Munich will revive the 3.0 CSL in the 21st century. It remains to be seen whether some of these styling features or parts of the futuristic interior will find their way into a production, but in the meantime the Hommage remains a tribute to the company’s glorious past.

Updated 05/22/2015: BMW unveiled the new 3.0 CSL Hommage concept car at the 2015 Concorso d’Eleganza.

Continue reading to learn more about the BMW 3.0 CSL Hommage.

  • 2015 BMW 3.0 CSL Hommage
  • Year:
    2015
  • Make:
  • 0-60 time:
    5 sec. (Est.)
  • Top Speed:
    155 mph (Est.)
  • car segment:
  • body style:

Exterior

2015 BMW 3.0 CSL Hommage
- image 631467
2015 BMW 3.0 CSL Hommage
- image 631471
2015 BMW 3.0 CSL Hommage
- image 631468

BMW describes the 3.0 CSL Hommage as a concept that "exudes sheer dynamics" through its "striking air deflectors, powerful wheel arches, and subtle and finely sculpted surfaces." To me, it’s the perfect description for the classic 3.0 CLS, which means BMW took this project very seriously.

An impressive number of details from the original "Batmobile" have been replicated for the Hommage, including the massive rear fenders, the large rear wing, and the roof spoiler

The attention to detail is evident front to rear. An impressive number of details from the original "Batmobile" have been replicated for the Hommage, including the massive rear fenders, the large rear wing and the roof spoiler. Even the taillights are reminiscent of the 3.0 CSL’s, even though they now extend into the fenders and wing. Other genuine 3.0 CSL features in this area include the stripe running along the beltline, the Hofmeister Kink in the quarter window, and the BMW badge on the C-pillar.

Similarities to the original 3.0 CSL continue up front, although it seems BMW changed one too many details here. Gone is the clean bumper of the classic model, replaced by a more intricate design with the fender flares flowing together into a center piece that includes a large splitter. The Germans also sacrificed the CSL’s round headlamps, using sleeker units with laser light and LED technology. The worst part of front fascia, though, is the kidney grille, which is way too massive for this design. The original 3.0 CSL displayed a certain balance when view from up front, and that’s obviously no longer the case with this concept car. I do appreciate BMW’s initiative to paint the Hommage in Golf Yellow, the original color of its successor.

Interior

2015 BMW 3.0 CSL Hommage
- image 631473
The Hommage's interior is a nice combination of race-spec components and classic cues borrowed from the original 3.0 CSL

The Hommage’s interior is a nice combination of race-spec components and classic cues borrowed from the original 3.0 CSL. Nearly everything is made from carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic (CFRP), but BMW also crafted a wood-like dashboard in a nod to the CSL’s all-around wood trim throughout the cabin. The instrument cluster is significantly smaller than in other BMWs and only provides info of speed, revs, shift point, and current gear.

Additional racing features include a pair of bucket seats with bright-yellow accents and six-point harnesses. Behind the front seats there are two helmets integrated into the transmission tunnel. The door panels are as minimalist as they get and feature DTM-style pull straps as openers. The covers for the eBoost energy accumulators mounted in place of the rear seats, feature a special reflector technology with LED strips which creates a 3D effect on the covers.

Drivetrain

2015 BMW 3.0 CSL Hommage
- image 631454

Under the hood, the 3.0 CSL Hommange is equipped with a "powerful six-cylinder in-line engine with eBoost." In other words, the concept is a hybrid. Needless to say, it seems I was wrong when I speculated that BMW might go with the i8’s drivetrain, which pairs the electric motor to a 1.5-liter, three-cylinder unit. At least the Hommage has a six-cylinder engine like the original 3.0 CSL had. And given BMW’s current powerplant strategy, it’s very likely it also displaces three liters. As far as output goes, I’m guessing it’s close to 500 horsepower.

Conclusion

2015 BMW 3.0 CSL Hommage Wallpaper quality
- image 631475

It’s great to see BMW look back upon its glorious past for a futuristic concept seven years since it did the same with the M1 Hommage. Unfortunately, much like the M1 concept, the 3.0 CSL will probably remain just a study, with very few features to be used in future production cars. As cool as it might sound, a revival of the 3.0 CSL wouldn’t make much sense, especially with the M4 around as the brand’s high-performance compact coupe. Still, the 3.0 CSL Hommage is an impressive effort that pays tribute to an outstanding car on both the road and the track.

  • Leave it
    • Just a concept car
    • Kidney grille ruins the 3.0 CSL look

Press Release

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.

2015 BMW 3.0 CSL Hommage
- image 631461

“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.

Lightweight design past and present.

“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.

The exterior: power and elegance.

2015 BMW 3.0 CSL Hommage
- image 631462

Karim Habib, Head of BMW Design, explains the thinking behind the design of the BMW 3.0 CSL Hommage: “For BMW designers like us, the BMW 3.0 CSL is a style icon. Its combination of racing genes and elegance generates an engaging aesthetic that continues to win hearts even today.
The BMW 3.0 CSL Hommage celebrates many of those characteristic features, but without copying them. Indeed, some of the parallels are not immediately obvious. We wanted people to sense the family resemblance rather than see it straight off.”

The BMW 3.0 CSL Hommage is a vision of pure athleticism: the elongated body is set off by distinctive air deflectors, powerful wheel arches and prominent spoilers to the roof and tail. Despite its size, the aerodynamic elements are key in enabling air to flow optimally along the sides of the vehicle. The front air deflector serves to vent the engine compartment, while wings over the rear wheels ensure optimum airflow around the vehicle. Small rear-view cameras serve to further reduce aerodynamic drag. The large rear spoiler increases downforce on the driven rear axle and in so doing improves power transmission. The Air Curtain and Air Breather systems guarantee optimum ventilation of the wheel housings. And the sheer self-confidence and sporting prowess of the BMW 3.0 CSL Hommage are perfectly summed up in the original colour of its spiritual predecessor – Golf Yellow.

The front end – muscular athleticism.

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.

The sides – contrapuntal elegance.

2015 BMW 3.0 CSL Hommage
- image 631463

The vehicle sides are in elegant counterpoint to the marked athleticism of front and rear. The long wheelbase and elongated bonnet appear to stretch the Hommage’s silhouette. A continuous, horizontal line encircles the vehicle by way of paying tribute to a distinctive stylistic feature of the earlier BMW 3.0 CSL: its all-round chrome trim. In combination with the black highlight beneath, the continuous line intensifies the flat, elongated appearance of the sides.

A particular detail of the BMW 3.0 CSL Hommage is the roofline. Consciously subdivided into three, the line recalls the distinctive upper section of the
BMW 3.0 CS – one of the first coupés to feature a roof that did not flow into the tail. Compared with the ubiquitous fastback coupés of the day, this was both an innovation and a design statement, a feature that exuded athleticism and elegance in equal measure. In keeping with the BMW 3.0 CSL, the Hommage features a BMW logo on each of the C-pillars.

The all-round shoulderline is also the starting point for the subtle, finely sculpted surfaces of the sides. It follows the development of the shadowy areas behind the front wheel all the way to the lit surfaces above the rear wheels. This interplay between light and shade lends movement and dynamic intensity to the generous surfaces of the vehicle’s sides. Dark CFRP areas narrow the gap between the sides and the road, again paying tribute to the consistent lightweight design of the BMW 3.0 CSL. In combination with the black graphic accents, the dark lightweight elements reduce the perceived height of the vehicle and further emphasise its flat silhouette. The black 21" alloy wheels in matt and high-gloss bi-colour versions offer an additional unique highlight. Air control blades in the interstices of the wheel rims, meanwhile, serve to further optimise aerodynamics.

The rear end – a muscular presence.

As with the front end, the vehicle’s tail is broad and muscular in design. Generous surfaces generate presence, horizontal elements emphasise width.
A particular highlight is the styling of the rear lights: an LED strip above the spoiler links the two lights, thus giving the rear end a formal framework. The powerfully sculpted rear apron with CFRP diffusor creates a visual impression of the BMW 3.0 CSL’s raw power. Even viewed from above, the BMW 3.0 CSL is extremely dynamic. From kidney grille to headlamps, the bonnet traces a broad “V” – a nostalgic throwback to a distinctive and dynamic element of earlier
BMW coupés.

The interior – purist elegance.

2015 BMW 3.0 CSL Hommage
- image 631464

Pared down to a minimum, the interior of the BMW 3.0 CSL Hommage puts its lightweight design on show and renders its racing character elegantly tangible. All interior elements are there out of absolute necessity, every part has a high-quality design, structural or drive-related function. In the all-CFRP interior, the only wood-like presence is the “instrument panel” – a cross-member and purely structural element. This is a clear reference to the interior of the earlier
BMW 3.0 CSL, which featured an all-round wood trim throughout the interior. In the new version, only the small central eBoost charging display interrupts the wooden instrument panel. Infotainment is equally minimalist in concept: a central display on the steering column informs the driver of the current gear, speed, revs and shift point.

Racing genes and lightweight design with finesse.

Other racing features include bucket seats with high-quality stitching, a six-point belt and red anodised safety features such as the outlet nozzles for the extinguishing foam, the fire extinguisher itself, and the two switches on the centre console for the emergency shut-off and fire extinguishing mechanism. The only elements in the rear of the vehicle are two helmets integrated into the transmission tunnel. These are held in place by a belt when not in use. In the place of a rear seat bench, there are only covers for the eBoost energy accumulators. Special reflector technology in combination with LED strips create an impressive 3D effect on the covers.

In its use of cutting-edge materials and detailed solutions, the BMW 3.0 CSL Hommage displays technical sophistication and subtlety of form. Meticulously crafted aluminium sleeves add high-quality accents at the junctions between individual structural elements. The door design is as minimalist as it is expressive: precise, clean surfaces trace an arc rearwards, lending the door element a flowing, dynamic quality. The door openers combine a DTM-style pull strap with the elegant handle-integrated opener of the earlier BMW 3.0 CSL, resulting in the hybrid solution of a nylon pull strap located directly behind the grab handle in the door. As with the interior as a whole, this detail lends expression to the unique character of the BMW 3.0 CSL Hommage: a winning combination of lightweight design, athleticism and elegance.

View the full press release Hide press release
Press release
What do you think?
Show Comments
Car Finder: