Following yesterday’s online reveal, the modern-day 3.0 CSL has arrived in Munich where it is currently showcased at the BMW Welt. It’s the “00” prototype that will be followed by 50 customer cars, each believed to cost an eye-watering €750,000. To put that exorbitant price tag into perspective, the figure is more than eight times higher than the money you pay in Germany for a base rear-wheel-drive M4 with a manual transmission, from €89,900.
The car does look downright spectacular, even though we’d argue the 2015 3.0 CSL Hommage and the subsequent Hommage R still feel more special. BMWBLOG had the opportunity to get up close and personal with the new take on the Coupe Sport Lightweight, which carried the classic Motorsport roundels signalling 50 years of M. A huge “M Power” logo on the rear wing is also a throwback to the old days.
BMW says there are no fewer than 134 paint processes for each car, which require an extra 6,700 manual work sequences in the paint shop. Just about everything you see painted in Alpine white uni is made from hand-painted carbon composites. The material has been left exposed only on the lettering on the roof and rear wing. A total of 22 individual parts require a special process not utilised by another M4 derivative.
Aside from having an anniversary livery, the 2023 3.0 CSL also gets centrelock wheels and a nicely redesigned kidney grille we can all get behind. The bulging wheel arches are also unique to the limited-run special edition, and so are the air fins at the front. At the back, both the wing and roof edge spoiler pay tribute to the original E9 3.0 CSL from the 1970s.
Besides the eye-watering price, there’s another downside to the 3.0 CSL since it has significantly less torque than the M4 CSL and M4 Competition. At 550 Newton-metres (404 pound-feet), you’re missing out on 100 Nm (74 lb-ft). BMW doesn’t say why, but the difference likely stems from the use of a manual gearbox that has prompted the engineers to dial down the torque to ensure the transmission’s reliability.
On the flip side, the 3.0 CSL uses the most powerful inline-six engine ever installed on an M road car. It produces 553 bhp (412 kW) in a vehicle that weighs 1,624 kilograms (3,580 pounds), which is over 350 kg (770+ lbs) more than its source of inspiration, the E9 3.0 CSL. Cars have gotten larger and heavier over the years, and even this two-seater coupe is about as bulky as a 7 Series E23.
At the end of the day, the XM plug-in hybrid SUV and 3.0 CSL are not the dedicated supercar BMW enthusiasts would’ve wanted for the M division’s 50th anniversary. Maybe it will happen one day since a true successor to the mid-engined M1 is long overdue.