getting in touch with history: BMW designs the 3.0 CSL hommage
all images courtesy of BMW





with a rich history the BMW 3.0 CSL – stands for ‘coupe sport lightweight’, was an established winner between 1973 to 1979 of the european tour car championship right out of the gate, starting with a class victory at the legendary french 24 hour le mans race in 1973. extremely light for its time, the car used a thinner steel for the body and aluminum alloy doors, bonnets and boot lids. the most iconic aspect of the car was its bash aerodynamics package that included large air vents, short fins that ran along the front fenders, and a spoiler which flowed from the edges of the roof to the end of the car. 

hommage to the striking aerodynamics package




designboom attended the 2015 concorso d’eleganza at villa d’este, where BMW introduced the ‘3.0 CSL hommage’, a car that laminatess the legendary racecar that has never been forgotten. ‘our hommage cars not only demonstrate how proud we are of our heritage, but also how important the past can be in determining our future,’ says adrian van hooydonk, senior vice president BMW group design. ‘the BMW ‘3.0 CSL hommage’ represents a nod to the engineering achievement exemplified by the BMW ‘3.0 CSL’ in its lightweight design and performance. with intelligent lightweight construction and modern materials, the ‘3.0 CSL Hommage’ brings the character of that earlier model into the 21st century, showing it in a new and exciting guise.’ 

unprecedented flat line silhouette




the contemporary automobile emphasizes the lightweight mentality with advanced carbon fiber materials. stronger than aluminum, BMW developed carbon fiber reinforced plastic for the cars body, doors, and lids, which is the same material that is found in their electric ‘i’ models. keeping to ‘3.0 CSL’ roots, the elongated body is designed with the same distinctive aerodynamics package, but with further drag reductions such as replacement of the side mirrors with rear view cameras.

LED tail lights sweep together with the large spoiler




karim habib, head of BMW design, explains the thinking behind the design of the BMW ‘3.0 CSL hommage‘: ‘for BMW designers like us, the BMW 3.0 CSL is a style icon. its combination of racing genes and elegance generates an engaging aesthetic that continues to win hearts even today. the BMW ‘3.0 CSL Hommage’ celebrates many of those characteristic features, but without copying them. Indeed, some of the parallels are not immediately obvious. We wanted people to sense the family resemblance rather than see it straight off.’

wood dash with modern accents




the cutting edge interior dash is composed of one piece of wood trim with modern additions, such as eBoost switches and infotainment center. the cockpit also contains bucket seats with  six-point seatbelts, and at the rear, a compartment for two helmets that sit on the transmission tunnel. everything is covered in dark accents to stress its flat silhouette. the BMW ‘3.0 CSL Hommage’ is a unique model that underlines the race heritage of lightweight design, robust athleticism and german elegance.  

large BMW air vents


the aerodynamics package controls all the flowing air around the car


black details emphasis the long wheelbase


BMW respecting the large spoiler of the old model


the roof includes a second spoiler to control air flow


the interior on has the bare necessities  


throwback ‘v’ shape originating from the earlier designs


21 inch black  wheels


cameras replace the side mirrors for less drag 


roy lichtenstein’s bmw art car at 2015 concorso d’eleganza villa d’esta


karim habib, head of BMW design present at 2015 concorso d’eleganza villa d’esta

BMW 3.0 CSL Hommage
BMW 3.0 CSL Hommage
BMW 3.0 CSL Hommage
BMW 3.0 CSL Hommage
BMW 3.0 CSL Hommage
BMW 3.0 CSL Hommage
BMW 3.0 CSL Hommage
BMW 3.0 CSL Hommage
BMW 3.0 CSL Hommage
BMW 3.0 CSL Hommage
BMW 3.0 CSL Hommage
BMW 3.0 CSL Hommage
BMW 3.0 CSL Hommage
BMW 3.0 CSL Hommage