Celebrating motorsport and coming to America.
In 1975, BMW of North America was founded, creating the first official sales company outside of Europe for the Bavarian automaker. It also marked the first year that BMW Motorsport raced in the United States, where the iconic BMW 3.0 CSL achieved a second-place finish at the 12 Hours of Sebring and then a victory at Laguna Seca in the IMSA series.
Forty years later, BMW unveiled the 3.0 CSL Hommage to celebrate the iconic sports car to much acclaim. Now, at the 2015 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, the new BMW 3.0 CSL Hommage R is celebrating the 40th anniversary of a racing legend and start in North America with a reinterpretation of the car that took North American racing by storm.
“Motor racing is all about the ability of cars to mesmerize, about the unbridled joy of driving,” explains Adrian van Hooydonk, Senior Vice President BMW Group Design. “And as such it represents the heartbeat of BMW. Back in 1975, as today, winning races came down to how man and machine could work together. Technical innovations have taken the effectiveness of this partnership to ever great heights. And with the BMW 3.0 CSL Hommage R we’re aiming to show how much closer the driver and car can grow in the future.”
Right off the bat, the red, white, and blue BMW Motorsport colors that were worn by the original are on display with the 3.0 CSL Hommage R including the number 25 designation and “Bavarian Motor Works” decals on the windshield and rear window. Almost every detail draws upon the original racer bringing the classic into the 21st century.
“Both inside and outside, the BMW 3.0 CSL Hommage R is primarily a reflection of its function,” explains Karim Habib, Head of Design BMW Automobiles. “The exterior and interior design is based around the requirements of motor sport as far as the car and driver are concerned; aerodynamics and driving dynamics on the one hand, the most direct connection between driver and machine on the other. In my view, that’s something the Hommage car expresses in a very emotional way. At the same time, all the details from the BMW 3.0 CSL are present in the Hommage model. And they are all there to be discovered in their original form. It’s a bow to the 1975 car.”
The front fascia is dominated by the lowest and widest look of any BMW model to create the impression of power. A large shark-nose shape stares ahead with the large BMW kidney grille and four-eyed LED lights with blue-lit “X” shapes that recall the X-taped headlights of endurance racing cars. A large carbon fiber front splitter with BMW Motorsport colors reduces lift and improves handling. Above the fascia the hood of the BMW 3.0 CSL Hommage R sits a wide “V” shape that extends outwards similar to that of the original model.
The red, white, and blue colors of BMW Motorsport run laterally across the long wheelbase of the BMW 3.0 CSL Hommage R. Matte gold 21-inch alloy wheels with black inlays add a motorsport flair. At the rear, the large fixed wind spoiler incorporates an LED light strip and generates all the downforce the car will ever need. A carbon fiber double-diffuser integrates seamlessly into the contoured rear apron that reflects the power of the car.
Inside, BMW designers wanted to connect the driver to the car from the racing suit and helmet to the layout of the cockpit. The helmet, designed specifically for the BMW 3.0 CSL Hommage R, features a special visor that displays situation-based information into the field of view for a real-time Head-Up Display. The driver’s race suit designed by Puma functions in a similar fashion, where piping integrated into the sleeves is illuminated to show the progress of information if both hands are on the steering wheel. Even the white carbon fiber quilted seats mimic the design of the race suit with its pattern while the six-point safety harness proudly wears the BMW Motorsport colors.
Protecting the driver in the BMW 3.0 CSL Hommage R is a carbon fiber roll car integrated into the roof and side structure of the car. The minimalistic, purposeful design is apparent in the rear where only two helmets integrated into the center tunnel are positioned. The interior is made from lightweight carbon fiber with a center wood panel displaying illuminated track maps with braking points, paying homage to the wood panel in the original 3.0 CSL. The steering column features two air vents to blows ambient air towards the driver while a small display shows secondary information such as lap times, race timing, and car position. Each safety feature is also highlighted by a red anodized finish such as the fire extinguisher and emergency shut-off switches on the center console.
The new BMW 3.0 CSL Hommage R was put on display at the 2015 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance and continues to celebrate the original 3.0 CSL models along with BMW’s 40 years in North America.
BMW 3.0 CSL Hommage R Gallery