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BMW has announced the most exclusive special model the company has ever produced; embodying the essence from 50 years of racing passion and expressing its historic roots in a legendary model designation. The 3.0 CSL combines a unique design with a pure performance experience in two seats and in doing so provides a truly unique and contemporary interpretation of the concept created in the 1970s, applying racing technology designed for sheer driving pleasure on the road.

This very special BMW was developed with the intention of combining the best of five decades of racing expertise from the German carmaker in a car with a highly emotional aura. All facets of its character, dynamic exterior elegance, a classic sportscar cockpit, intelligent lightweight construction, a straight six-cylinder engine, manual transmission and rear-wheel drive are based on traditional principles of a BMW car. These elements complement each other and combine with the latest technology to create the ultimate top performer in the style of the brand that has been successful for 50 years. Take it from me, a ride in a 3.0 CSL is not only an exclusive high-performance experience, but also an emotional encounter with the past and present. The 3.0 CSL is produced in a strictly limited edition and to mark the anniversary, exactly 50 consecutively numbered units of the special model will go on sale. Right from the start, this gives the car the status of a rarity that will find its place in the vehicle collections of particularly loyal and enthusiastic fans of the BMW M brand. The production of all vehicles will take around three months; each and every one of them is created with absolute dedication to excellence in craftsmanship and precisely coordinated technologies in an elaborate manufacturing process at the BMW Group Dingolfing plant in Lower Bavaria. The exclusive interior carbon fibre reinforced plastic components are hand produced by specially assigned bodywork specialists in Munich and at the BMW Group component factory in Landshut. A specific process was also conceived for the paintwork in which craftsmanship and state-of-the-art technology complement each other to provide each individual part with its characteristic colour design. In addition, a team of thirty specially qualified and experienced technicians are responsible for the configuration and assembly of the vehicles and due to the complexity of the manufacturing processes, each passes through eight assembly cycles at as many production stations, a procedure that takes up to ten days in total.

To the heart of this very special BMW is the most powerful straight six-cylinder engine ever used in a road-legal BMW M car The straight six-cylinder engine with M Power has undergone impressive development. Engines of the same design mobilised an output of 204 kW/277bhp in the M1 as early as 1978 and 250 kW/340bhp in the second-generation BMW M5 from 1991. The fifth-generation BMW M3 was launched in 2014 with a 317 kW/431bhp straight-six engine featuring M TwinPower Turbo technology. The straight six-cylinder engine of the 3.0 CSL possesses the same technological roots as the power unit used in the current DTM winning car. This unit offers spontaneous high revving thanks to the typical M high-revving concept and comprises, among other things, an extremely rigid crankcase in a sleeveless closed-deck design, a forged lightweight crankshaft and a cylinder head core featuring 3D printing technology. The cooling system and oil supply are also designed for extremely dynamic driving situations.

For its championship win in the DTM, the M4 GT3 was powered by a version of the latest straight six-cylinder engine with around 600bhp which, in its version designed for large-scale production in the current models of the M3/BMW M4 series, delivers up to 375 kW/510bhp. The version of the drive system with M TwinPower Turbo technology, which was further developed exclusively for the 3.0 CSL, mobilises a maximum output of 412 kW/560bhp. The straight six-cylinder engine is coupled with a six speed manual gearbox whose spread and transmission ratios are ideally matched to the performance characteristics. With such power at the command of the right foot, brakes are key and with powerful deceleration performance, optimised fading stability, outstanding thermal stability and extremely high wear resistance there is the M carbon ceramic brake system.

You will not fail to recognise the new powerhouse from BMW, its styling, both exterior wise and interior, is decidedly sporting.

Ian Lynas