The long-rumoured successor to the 3.0 CSL is real.
Way, way, way, back in 2015, BMW showed off the 3.0 CSL Hommage. Basically, it was a one-off concept car built as an homage to the original 3.0 CSL "Batmobile," one of BMW's most notable inline-six racers. Now BMW M, a brand in its 50th year, has resurrected it. M boss Franciscus van Meel has teased that BMW will be bringing the almost decade-old Hommage concept to life.
On his personal account, van Meel shared the below post to Instagram just hours ago, which shows him standing in front of what appears to be a re-bodied BMW M4 CSL plastered with past-CSL graphics as a sort of camouflage livery. But this camouflage intentionally allows us to see very, very much of what's to come. And boy, does it look good (or at least, a lot better). What's more, it might even have a manual, but it may be limited to 50 units and cost more than $795,000.
We're betting this isn't going to be a redone M4 CSL with a limited production run and a stratospheric price tag (though it will probably have both those things). At least based on the photos and current rumors (none of which have yet been confirmed), this is going to take the bones of an existing M4 CSL and slather a coachbuilt, brand-new body over it, with plenty of retro nods to the OG 3.0 CSL Batmobile. We'll wait to see the shut lines and window frames before passing a verdict on that "coachbuilt" claim.
Ideally, that means this car will have real mechanical differences between it and the M4 CSL. If the livery is anything to go by, that includes a manual trans. Featured prominently in the rear shot of the car above (right off van Meel's Insta) is a tagline from the old F80 M3 and M4, which says "6MT FTW," which gives us hope for a manual. Currently, the M4 CSL is only available as an automatic.
It also looks like it'll have further recognition to CSLs throughout the years, with the livery showing multiple hard-edged M models like the E46 M3 CSL, M4 touring car racers, and others. Despite that, from what we can tell, this will be a new CSL, not a tribute.
Right now, we're still waiting to hear more from BMW M on the matter. The brand has not issued a statement of any kind as of this post's writing, and even the Instagram post only makes use of ambiguous hashtags, though we will make updates as they come. For now, we can only guess at what'll be under the hood and paired to what should be a manual transmission.
Logic says it'll be BMW's S58 engine, which powers the M3 and M4 lineup right now, though this will surely have more power. The OG CSL was one of the most powerful BMWs on the planet in its time, and we're expecting the same here. We're hoping at least for a tad more than the current CSL's 543 horsepower. In fact, for the rumored money and cost, it better have at least a hundred ponies more. For now, we'll just have to wait.