At the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este, Rolls-Royce introduced the second Boat Tail coachbuilt car to the amazement of the audience. We were curious to find out whether the core BMW brand could follow RR by developing its own highly bespoke models built in extremely limited numbers. After all, the Hommage concepts – such as the 3.0 CSL here – from several years ago have already hinted at that possibility.
To that end, we asked BMW design boss Adrian van Hooydonk if the German luxury brand intends to introduce exclusive models that would be positioned separately from the “Series” and “X” lineups:
“Yes, I believe that the brand could bear that. I would like to see that happen. Like I said, it will be a question of finding the time and the resources and do it in a way that is clever. Because of course BMWs is now a fairly large organization. And like I said, we’re already doing so much and we’re already busy over our ears, managing this transformation that is at the moment the only challenge but like I said with this modern manufacturing methods. There could be some windows that open up for that.”
Reading between the lines, it seems quite likely that BMW will sooner or later take the coachbuilding route, but it’s a matter of finding the time to pursue this niche. Having such a vast family of models spanning nearly all segments of the market takes a lot of effort and time to manage. It’s especially true what with stringent emissions regulations forcing automakers to gradually switch to EVs.
While Adrian van Hooydonk refrained from going into any specifics, it is widely believed a modern-day 3.0 CSL will lead the way for BMW’s coachbuilding efforts. Expect to see it break cover before the end of 2022 to celebrate 50 years of M as an ultra-limited M4 CSL-based sports coupe. Its retro-flavored body will be designed by taking inspiration from the 2015 3.0 CSL Hommage concept pictured here.
If recent reports are to be trusted, it’s going to have 600 horsepower or an extra 50 hp over the Coupe Sport Lightweight, which itself has a 40-hp advantage over the M4 Competition. Another significant change will be the switch from the CSL’s automatic transmission to a manual, which will also send power exclusively to the rear wheels. It could very well go down in history as one of the last BMWs to be sold only with a manual and/or in RWD guise.
It goes without saying it’s not going to be cheap. We’ve heard the car will allegedly cost roughly €750,000, thus easily making it the company’s most expensive new car ever. It’s also going to be one of the rarest, with only 50 units said to be planned. It won’t be a true successor to the M1, but perhaps the next best thing. Enthusiasts will certainly prefer it over the XM even though the plug-in hybrid SUV is touted as being the first dedicated M car after the mid-engined coupe.