Every year, car enthusiasts from all over the world gather for the Concours d’Elegance in Pebble Beach to immerse themselves in the fascination of both automotive treasures from years gone by and pioneering studies for times to come. The BMW Group has come up with something very special this year with the world premiere of the BMW 3.0 CSL Hommage R – a car that celebrates both the 40th anniversary of BMW in North America and the heady racing success of the BMW 3.0 CSL in 1975.
The year 1975 was the time 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.
A new level of driver focus
Given the aim of achieving the best possible fusion of driver and car, the driver was the logical starting point for the design of the BMW 3.0 CSL Hommage R. For the seamless integration of the driver into the car, the designers extrapolated the principle of driver focus beyond the geometric form of the interior. In the BMW 3.0 CSL Hommage R, the idea of centering attention on the driver begins with his immediate surroundings. This new approach led the designers first to the driver’s helmet, race suit and seat before moving onto the lines and surfaces of the interior.
This way of doing things changes the nature of conventional interior functions. As the layer of interaction closest to the driver, the helmet visor assumes the functions of a display and projects situation-based information such as the car’s speed, gear engaged and engine revs into the driver’s direct field of view. The BMW 3.0 CSL Hommage R thus enhances the driver’s direct perception. The idea of the head-up display, which has already proved its effectiveness in series-produced BMW models by flagging up driving-related information without distracting the driver, is therefore expressed in a whole new way. “Eyes on the road, hands on the wheel” is the name of the game – enabling the driver to concentrate fully on the job of driving the car.
Commitment to lightweight construction, technical refinement
In the area around the driver’s seat, the designers have drawn back the covers on the lightweight design of the BMW 3.0 CSL Hommage R and lent tangible form to its racing character. A carbon-fiber roll cage integrated into the structure of the car’s roof and side sections forms the basis for the interior’s singularly minimalist geometry. In an interior made almost entirely from carbon fiber, the only wood-like presence is the “instrument panel” – actually a cross-member and purely structural element. This is a reference to a central element of the earlier BMW 3.0 CSL, in which even the racing version had distinctive wood trim ringing the whole of the interior. A particular highlight here is the additional information illuminated through the wood.
Motor racing through and through
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.
Power and athleticism
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
Sporting flair with a touch of elegance
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. Dark carbon-fiber 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 old 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-fiber 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.