As BMW celebrates its 100th anniversary this year, it will inevitably look back to its illustrious past. Along the years, the Bavarians revolutionized the car industry and some models rose to superstar levels and are considered iconic not only among BMW fans and models but also within the industry.
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Therefore, an initiative to ask some of the people working for the company what is their all-time favorite BMW came to life and the answers are less surprising than you might expect. We thought the answers will be a lot more diverse but it looks like two cars stand out the most in the crowd, as well as in people’s hearts: the BMW 328 and the BMW 3.0 CSL.
The 328 is a pre-war model, built between 1936 and 1940 and a lot of people see the iconic car as the model that shaped BMW’s philosophy later down the road. Designed by Fritz Fiedler and Peter Szymanowski, its shape and curves are well known around the world and while some credit the 328 for bringing out the kidney grilles for the first time, the first car to feature them had been launched 3 years earlier in the shape of the 303 model.
The 328 was the first BMW to dominate races around the world. As a matter of fact, it was the 328 that gave the BMW brand its sporty character. A marketing study carried out in the 1960s found that most people considered the Bavarian brand to stand for sportiness due to the pre-war model. Unfortunately, only 464 cars were made until the war broke out, making this a truly rare model today.
BMW 3.0 CSL
As for the BMW 3.0 CSL, what hasn’t been said already? It is regarded as the first M model even though the name doesn’t include the M letter. Nevertheless, it was the first project completed by the Motorsport Division, launched back in 1971 at the Geneva Motor Show, as a lighter version of the 3.0CS/CSi models. The engineers managed to save no less than 440 lbs on the Coupe Sport Lightweight model while also upgrading the engine, turning it into a proper rocket on the road.
The car was also known as the “Batmobile” due to its aggressive design. In addition to the standard front airdam and rear spoiler, 3.2-liter CSL models could be fitted with a removable “racing kit” consisting of an air guide mounted above the rear window and an enlarged rear spoiler, both designed to increase downforce on the competition machines. The addition of these rather striking appendages resulted in the nickname “Batmobile”.
Now, if you were to choose your favorite BMW of all-time, what would your answer be?