BMW made only 167 examples of the 3.0 CSL but some of them are more special than others. It’s the later cars that are the most sought-after thanks to their wild aero pack. That rear spoiler was illegal in Germany, so the workaround found by the automaker was to stuff it in the trunk for owners to install after picking up the car. One fine example of the Batmobile stars in a new video shot in Japan at the track belonging to the Magarigawa Club, which was inaugurated only a few months ago.
We also get to see the 3.0 CSL E9’s modern-day equivalent, the M4 Coupe-based 3.0 CSL. However, the video mostly focuses on the homologation special built from 1973 until 1975. Half a century later, the Coupe Sport Lightweight remains as utterly gorgeous as ever. In its final form, the car featured a 3.1-liter engine producing 206 hp sent to the rear axle via a four-speed manual gearbox. The hardware enabled a top speed of 137 mph (220 km/h).
Given the rarity and value of the car, the driver was never going to push it hard. Nevertheless, it’s always an occasion to see the classic Batmobile in action, especially one in such excellent condition. The 3.0 CSL E9 comes from a time when cars were a lot lighter by not having to comply with highly advanced safety regulations. It tipped the scales at 1,270 kilograms (2,800 pounds), which enabled an excellent weight-to-power ratio of 6.1 kg per hp.
BMW’s engineers were able to lower weight by around 200 kg compared to the 3.0 CS by removing the electric windows and power steering as well as most of the sound-deadening material. In addition, the doors, hood, and trunk were made from aluminum while the roof and other panels were built from a thinner sheet metal to maximize the diet. As for the rear and side windows, these were made from perspex instead of glass.
The 3.0 CSL E9 is without a shadow of a doubt one of the most iconic cars to carry the famous roundel, not just because of its design and technical specifications, but also because it signaled the start of the M division.