BMW Reveals Most Powerful Straight-Six Engine Ever In $780,000 Limited Edition 3.0 CSL

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Just 50 3.0 CSLs will be produced to celebrate 50 years of BMW M.

  • $780,000 BMW 3.0 CSL pays homage to the original car of the same name
  • Limited to 50 units to celebrate 50 years of BMW M
  • Features BMW's most powerful inline-six ever (552 horsepower/406 lb-ft of torque)
  • Manual gearbox and rear-wheel drive only

BMW has taken the wraps off its most exciting car of 2022, the all-new 3.0 CSL. Just 50 consecutively numbered examples will be made to celebrate BMW M's 50th anniversary this year, featuring BMW's most powerful roadgoing straight-six and, best of all, a six-speed manual and rear-wheel drive.

Each 3.0 CSL will be produced at BMW's Dingolfing plant in Germany, where parts for Rolls-Royce cars are made, and the entire production run of 50 units will take roughly three months to complete. Certain elements, like the interior carbon fiber-reinforced plastic components, are produced by hand. The exterior is also rather special, with over 200 hours spent on optimizing the airflow and aerodynamic balance of the vehicle, including 50 hours in the wind tunnel refining its throwback styling elements to be as effective as possible.

But what you really care about is power, and this has a lot of it. The 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged engine produces a claimed 552 horsepower and 406 lb-ft of torque.

BMW M
BMW M
BMW M
BMW M

Those are on-paper figures, however, and BMW M cars have been known to underpromise and over-deliver, as was the case with the M4 CSL, which this car is loosely based on.

As a tribute to the original E9 3.0 CSL, the gear knob boasts a white surface and engraved gearshift diagram that looks oh-so retro. As this is a modern car, you get a shift assistant that automatically manages clutch slip, but you can turn this off if you're serious about connecting with the car. As with other M products, you get an Active M Differential and Adaptive M suspension.

M carbon-ceramic brakes with adjustable characteristic curves are included, too, with six-piston fixed calipers in front and discs measuring 400x38 millimeters. The rears see single-piston fixed calipers biting down on 380x28 mm discs. The front and rear calipers are presented in red, but you may be more interested in the center-lock wheels.

BMW M
BMW M
BMW M
BMW M

These forged light-alloy wheels come with a Y-spoke design and measure 20 inches in front and 21 inches at the rear. Painted gold and fastened with a center-locking nut, these race-inspired rims are torqued at 686 lb-ft, the highest value for any BMW Group production vehicle. The tires are specially developed for the car, too, with the number 50 embossed on the Michelin Pilot Sport 4 S sidewalls.

If these elements do not make enough of an impact, the bodywork surely does. With a wing inspired by that of the original 3.0 CSL Batmobile working in tandem with the carbon diffuser in the rear apron, the modern special edition promises outstanding traction and aerodynamic balance. Other rear-end highlights include the filigree laser light threads in the taillights and the titanium rear silencer, both of which were first seen on the M4 CSL earlier this year.

BMW M
BMW M
BMW M
BMW M

The trunk lid, the hood, the front fascia, the rear fascia, the roof, the rocker panels - basically every element of the car is newly constructed from carbon fiber. Even the roof spoiler is lightweight, with this made of glass fiber reinforced plastic, but from a distance, you can't tell because the CSL comes with the iconic M tricolor theme over a base Alpine White uni body. Notably, both the base color of white and the striped livery are applied by hand, and a total of 22 individual parts are painted in a process that BMW designed especially for this car. However, some areas are left exposed, including the lettering on the roof and the rear wing. It takes six working days to complete each component with a livery paint finish, with 134 paint processes endured by each vehicle contributing to 6,700 total manual work sequences in the paint shop for the full 50 vehicles.

Those rumors about this being a handmade special edition were clearly not baloney.

BMW M
BMW M
BMW M
BMW M

Inside, more carbon is found in the bucket seats, the door panels, the dash trims, and the center console. Behind the seats, there's a spot designed for storing a pair of crash helmets, while an Alcantara steering wheel, anthracite roof liner, and black Alcantara upholstery are offset by a red start/stop button and white contrast stitching, matching what you get from the body.

In summary, you get more power, a truly exclusive body and cabin, but less torque, likely because the manual can't handle the additional 74 lb-ft offered by the M4 Competition and M4 CSL. Since just 50 will be made, your investment is unlikely ever to depreciate, but regional availability is yet to be revealed. However, BMW has confirmed to us that the asking price is as feared: a scandalous €750,000, or over $780,000 in our money. Beauty truly is pain.

BMW M
BMW M
BMW M
BMW M

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