BMW comes to Pebble Beach with something special this year with the world premiere of the BMW 3.0 CSL Hommage R
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1975 was the year the Bavarian manufacturer founded BMW of North America, its first official sales company outside Europe. It was also the year in which BMW Motorsport made its debut in motor racing stateside – in the IMSA series – with a specially made BMW 3.0 CSL. Just a few weeks later BMW recorded its first, historic triumph at the 12 Hours of Sebring. This was followed by a succession of victories, including one at Laguna Seca, just 15 miles from Pebble Beach. BMW’s rookie year duly culminated in the white BMW 3.0 CSL, decked out in eye-catching BMW Motorsport livery, winning the manufacturers’ championship at the first attempt. This success, coupled with the car’s striking design and the “Bavarian Motor Works” legend emblazoned across the sun protection film on the windscreen and rear window, announced the BMW brand’s arrival in racing-mad North America with a bang.
“Motor racing is all about the ability of cars to mesmerise, 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.
“Motor racing is all about the ability of cars to mesmerise, 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.”
“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 exterior design of the BMW 3.0 CSL Hommage R is a pure expression of motor racing. The stretched body is framed by distinctive air deflectors, powerful wheel arches and a prominent rear spoiler, which likewise cite the successful IMSA racing version of the original BMW 3.0 CSL. Every detail of the Hommage car has its origins in the successful racing machine from 1975, but all have since been updated and integrated technically into a modern design language. The colors and graphics used, not to mention the addition of a number 25, reference the extraordinary record of success notched up by the works BMW 3.0 CSL in 1975. Indeed, the BMW 3.0 CSL Hommage R even revives details such as the “Bavarian Motor Works” decals on the windscreen and rear window. Swathes of exposed carbon fiber spotlight the 1975 model’s commitment to lightweight construction and, as a cutting-edge material, bring it into the modern era.
The exterior design of the BMW 3.0 CSL Hommage R is a pure expression of motor racing
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The front end of the BMW 3.0 CSL Hommage R, one of the broadest and lowest of any model in the BMW family, positively exudes power and athleticism. The flow of the surfaces and graphic accents in the front apron showcase the car’s wheels and underline its wide, powerful impression. In the center of the front end is a large version of the signature BMW kidney grille, which references the upright form favored at the time. The familiar four-eyed face – with its contemporary, hexagonal interpretation – emphasizes the sporting intent of the front end. Laser lighting and LED technology enable slim, modern light graphics, and the narrow contours of the headlights give the BMW the focused look typical of the brand’s cars. A stylized, blue-lit “X” inside the lights separates the light functions from one another and, at the same time, recalls the X-shaped headlight taping used for endurance races. The large, black front splitter made from carbon fiber and with accents in BMW Motorsport’s colors sets the seal on the front end as it plunges down to the road. Together with the kidney grille, it creates a large stylistic aperture, providing a visual hint of the engine’s power and performance. From the side, the front apron and kidney grille present a modern take on the shark nose design that was already turning heads in 1975, ensuring the car would be easily recognizable.
The long wheelbase and sweeping bonnet stretch the Hommage car’s silhouette visually and lend it a touch of elegance to go with its dominant sporting brio. The familiar line graphics along the car’s flanks further strengthen this impression. The exclusive exterior color Brilliant White with its slight metallic effect adds a gleam to the surfaces and lends the powerful contours a vivid sculptural impact. The line graphics in BMW Motorsport colors pick up the surface movements in the front, rear and flanks, further emphasizing the car’s sinewy looks. Dark carbon-fibre surfaces round off the flanks at their lower edge and point to the commitment to lightweight design of the original BMW 3.0 CSL. The matte gold 21-inch light-alloy wheels with black inlays add a special flourish.
The rear of the BMW 3.0 CSL Hommage R makes a statement of maximum sporting intent. The large rear spoiler and carbon-fibre double diffuser are straight out of the racing car blueprint and brim with aerodynamic sophistication. The powerfully contoured rear apron draws the eye to the car’s wheels and, in so doing, visually showcases the power of the BMW 3.0 CSL Hommage R. The BMW Motorsport line graphics reproduce this movement, further strengthening its muscular presence on the road. The rear light design is particularly distinctive, a strip of LEDs extending along the spoiler to link the two lights and providing a stylistic border for the rear end.
The BMW 3.0 CSL Hommage R also cuts a dynamically imposing figure when viewed from above. The bonnet fans out in a wide “V” from kidney grille to headlights, recalling a striking and dynamic element of earlier BMW coupes. The BMW 3.0 CSL Hommage R therefore combines all the classic BMW hallmarks within a modern and emotionally rich design language, adding even greater luster to the already glittering engineering achievement of 40 years ago.