The 3.0 CSL is officially, um, official, and there is still a lot we don’t know. Burning questions on social media run the gamut from the simple “Why can’t they bring it to the US?” to the silly “Who can afford to buy this stuff?”. Well, after speaking with the current CEO of BMW M, Fran van Meel, we have some additional insight into the pricing, why the 3.0 CSL isn’t about making a quick buck, and how on Earth anyone would ever even get one of these things.
Application Accepted: the 3.0 CSL’s Unique Allocation Process
That’s right – if you want a chance to own one of the 50 (technically, 51 counting the museum car), you’ll need to apply. BMW apparently has asked would-be owners to apply – after which a lottery will take place, and the vehicles will be sold to the winners. M CEO Franciscus “Frank” van Meel has said that there is technically no limitation to where the cars could end up. But he does confirm that the vehicle is being built only to European specifications. Why? Homologation costs, of course. Van Meel says it is unaffordable to homologate a vehicle with only a 50-unit production run. And he’s probably right.
Competitive Pricing, Kind Of
Pricing is another sticking point among the legions of social media fans of the brand. Some choice comments from BMW aficiondaos include “The biggest missed opportunity,” “I have 36 dollars cash on me right now, I will take the car,” and my personal favorite, “Any future plans for the E92 M3?”
While, undeniably, three-quarters of a million euros is a princely sum, van Meel seems to disagree. He refers us to the recent sale of Jochen Neerpasch’s M1 at RM Sotheby’s just a few weeks ago. It brought an impressive €792,500 (roughly $833,000), and as van Meel eloquently states, “there were more than 50 of those. This is the next new icon,” he concludes.
And he might not be wrong. The car is hand-assembled, with hand-painted stripes and hand-made carbon fiber body panels. It is as close as possible to an homage to a true racing legend. This certainly makes it desirable and an integral part of any serious collector’s garage. Van Meel mentioned that the pricing is being disclosed to customers – who seem to still be in the application process – and that it is “in the direction” of the originally-quoted €750,000 mark.
3.0 CSL: Icing on the Cake and Indicative of the Future
Parting notes on the new BMW 3.0 CSL – BMW M never had to make it. “We didn’t really need something special,” Frank states. 2022 saw the announcement or production start of the i4 M50, XM, M3 Touring, and M4 CSL, an exhilarating year for BMW M already. But, citing this vehicle as an “emotional” decision “not about making money,” it made sense to van Meel as “we only celebrate 50 years once…it’s not about making money – it’s about making a point.”
And though I’ll never drive one of these things (there will be no press cars) and will consider myself lucky to even see one on the road, I’m glad BMW M went the extra mile. There’s more good news too. Regarding future coach-built projects like the 3.0 CSL, Frank says it’s a possibility. “It has to make a point,” he says, “It has to be framed in [the] context.”
Hey, if that’s an excuse to build more 560-horsepower manual coupes with no backseat, count me in.