Understandably, all eyes were on the Concept Touring Coupe during last weekend’s Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este but BMW displayed a lot of other interesting cars on the shores of Lake Como in Italy. The most expensive of the bunch – if we’re talking strictly about new models – was this 3.0 CSL. It’s not one of the 50 customer cars but rather the company’s own vehicle (00/50). It was previously displayed at the BMW Welt after the world premiere in late November 2022.

Priced at an eye-watering €750,000, the 3.0 CSL is BMW’s most powerful production car with an inline-six engine. It only packs an extra 10 horsepower over the M4 CSL upon which it’s largely based, but the real gem for enthusiasts is the clutch pedal. Yes, those 50 people fortunate enough to buy the car can row their own gears and access those 553 horses. That said, given the value and rarity, one can’t help but wonder how many will actually use the cars since the 3.0 CSL is shaping up to be an instant collector’s item. Most will spend the better part of their lives locked up in a climate-controlled garage.

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As to why it’s so expensive since it’s “just” an M4 CSL underneath the skin, exclusivity is a factor. In addition, many steps of the assembly process are done by hand. BMW needs three months to complete a car, with each having to go through eight assembly cycles. You’ll be surprised to hear there are no fewer than 134 paint processes and 6,700 manual work sequences in the paint shop. It gets a fresh take on the kidney grille, centerlock wheels, and a coach-built body that takes after the original 3.0 CSL “Batmobile” from the E9 era.

As absurd as the price tag might seem to some people, BMW had no issues selling the entire production run in only a few months since the car’s debut. The idea behind the 3.0 CSL was to serve as a grand finale for the M division’s 50th anniversary celebrations in 2022. It’s not the mid-engined supercar fans had hoped but at least it’s closer to the ethos of a bespoke M car than the gargantuan XM plug-in hybrid SUV.

Photos: BMW Group Classic / Gudrun Muschalla