For BMW M fans there shouldn’t be a more important model out there than the BMW 3.0 CSL. Even though its name doesn’t include the most powerful letter in the world, the 3.0 CSL is basically how the Motorsport division got started. And what a great beginning it was, with racing versions of the 3.0 CSL cars making up to and over 800 HP depending on the spec. All of that was right in front of the driver who didn’t have power steering or ABS to help him out.
In the beginning, the aerodynamic body kit which turned road-going 3.0 CSL models into the famous Batmobiles we know today, wasn’t even road-legal. BMW had to sell the cars with the rear wing in the trunk, with customers invited to break the law and install them themselves, if they wanted to. The 3.0 CSL was also extremely expensive with its price tag nearly matching a contemporary Aston Martin.
It was all for the sake of the brand though, as the 3.0 CSL was built to keep up with drastically upgraded Ford Capris which used to dominate racing in Europe back in those days. With Jochen Neerpasch, the man behind those amazing Capris, persuaded to join BMW, the Germans became unstoppable. The 3.0 CSL was the first project Neerpasch worked on but it was good enough to create the entire M division around it later on.
The clip posted below shows us the two faces of the BMW 3.0 CSL: the civilized, road legal car and the track day fiend. Put together by the guys over at Gentleman Drivers in Japan, it definitely looks absolutely amazing and a sort of celebration of the iconic model in both guises. And don’t even get me started on the parking garage showcased at the beginning or the BMW M1 Procar stashed next to the racing 3.0 CSL.