The BMW 3.0 CSL nameplate is finally returning, after lying dormant for almost five decades. The original 3.0 CSL was one of the most important cars in the history of BMW. Not only was it massively successful on the race track, but it helped create the M Division that we know today. Which is why bringing the name back is such a big deal. But will this new BMW 3.0 CSL be as important? Let’s take a look.

What is the New BMW 3.0 CSL

Unfortunately, this new 3.0 CSL won’t be anywhere near as important to BMW or its future as the original. Nothing against it but there will only be 50 of them and none of those will be factory race cars. All 50 BMW 3.0 CSL models will be customer cars, so don’t expect it to bring home any glory for BMW on race day.

Instead, the BMW 3.0 CSL will be a heavily modified BMW M4 with a custom body. Rather than the odd-ball looks of the current M4, the 3.0 CSL will have the same body style as the stunning 3.0 CSL Hommage concept car from a few years back. It’s both incredibly exciting and infuriating in equal measure. How can it be both? It’s exciting because that beautiful design is actually going into production and won’t continue rotting away, crumbled in a ball on the design room carpet. But it’s also infuriating because it’s going to be used on a car that’s essentially unobtanium for all but 50 people, instead of being used on the production M4. The fact that BMW trotted out this M4 design when it had the M4 CSL Hommage concept laying around is decision I’m not sure I’ll ever forgive BMW for.

Powering the 3.0 CSL will be a tuned version of the standard M4’s twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-six, making 560 horsepower. It will power only the rear wheels and, even better, it will ONLY have a manual transmission. That’s right–no ZF eight-speed auto for the CSL.

How Much Will it Cost?

Here’s the big “but.” The BMW 3.0 CSL is going to be financially out of reach for many people. While we don’t have an exact, official price just, the 3.0 CSL is rumored to cost around 750,000 euros ($764,000). For the record, that’s more than a Rolls-Royce Ghost, BMW M3, Porsche 911, and Land Rover Defender. Combined. So, don’t expect to just head down to the local dealer and snag one while dealers are offering promotional rebates.

When Will it Debut?

At the moment, production is scheduled for November of 2022 but deliveries won’t start until 2023. It’s not as if it matters much to the likes of us, as most of us cannot afford it. However, its existence is exciting and its potential success could convince to do more interesting cars like the 3.0 CSL in the future. Hopefully it does and they’re cheaper.

[Photo credit: S. Baldauf/SB-Medien]