BMW 3.0 CSL: A Modern Masterpiece with a Racing Heritage
The BMW 3.0 CSL debuted last year, promising a short run of just 50 units and an eye-watering, never-officially-confirmed price tag of around $750,000. With 50 years of motorsport behind them, BMW M knew they needed to make the 3.0 CSL something truly special. A one-of-a-kind production process featuring largely by-hand assembly is just one of the reasons they succeeded.
The 3.0 CSL’s Complex Production Process
By now, you might be sick of hearing that the modern 3.0 CSL has a “racing heritage” simply by virtue of sharing a title. But did you know that the final assembly of the 2023 3.0 CSL takes place in Moosthenning, in the immediate vicinity of the M4 GT4 racecar? Modifying the M4 chassis from Dingolfing underneath take 16 hours, painstaking work performed by 30 artisans. These experts specialize in the unique carbon components that set the 3.0 CSL apart from a traditional G82 M4.
The 3.0 CSL’s Bespoke Paint Job
If you thought assembling the 3.0 CSL was difficult, be glad you’re not in the paint booth. The elaborate – and bespoke – paint job on the 3.0 CSL was not an easy feature to streamline. The base paint is, of course, a specific blend of Alpine White. Up to eight layers of paint are required to make the paint pop, just as BMW deems necessary. Most of the headache comes from the stripes; matching the iconic blue, dark blue, and red demands careful attention. A team of qualified experts carries the duty out using laser projections and good old-fashioned elbow grease.
No, literally. Each component must be carefully polished in between the painting stages. In total, 134 steps are required to apply paint correctly to the 3.0 CSL. Only after the team finishes each carbon fiber body component does the 3.0 CSL enters final assembly. Production specialist Marco Klante says, “If there is just a small error somewhere on a component – then you have to start all over again.” The finish and the transitions have to be perfect.” Let’s just say it’s easier to write and read about these cars than to assemble – or purchase – them.
Over 100 Employees Work on Each 3.0 CSL
All in all, the 3.0 CSL production process relies on over 100 employees to get it right. “We have really pulled out the stops,” says Franz-Xaver Karl, Head of Special Vehicle Assembly. It takes two weeks just to assemble the vehicle – that’s after it’s gone through the process at Dingolfing. And doesn’t count the time it spends at Dingolfing after it has been assembled, where final testing commences.
And all is well in the high-stakes, low-volume production of the 3.0 CSL. BMW will finish production of the 3.0 CSL by the second quarter of 2023. Once production ceases, it’s curtains for this truly special operation. Hopefully, their next project will be the Touring Coupe.