The Sunday Times Driving Placeholder

Batmobile emerges from shadows: BMW 3.0 CSL Hommage revealed

Back off, Joker. This one might fire rockets


BMW 3.0 CSL Hommage is a modern tribute to a classic racing coupé

BMW has reinvented one of its most imposing sporting cars from the Seventies with a hi-tech “hommage” to the 3.0 CSL, a car whose design was so controversial when it was introduced that the German authorities tried to ban it from the road.


Search for and buy your next car on driving.co.uk


It had a rear wing that appeared to have been borrowed from a light aircraft and a powerful 3-litre, straight-six engine that helped it leave its arch-rival, the Ford Capri, for dust.

The 3.0 CSL Hommage is still at the concept stage and there are as yet no plans to put it into production. Nevertheless, now fully revealed (we teased it last week) it is a thing to behold, with pumped-up bodywork, unsubtle livery, a deep front spoiler to help reduce the effect of the air lifting the car at speed and, of course, a rear wing.

BMW says its chassis and body are built from carbon fibre and the interior has been “rigorously pared down”, with only the bare essentials included for the driver. The manufacturer is not yet revealing what engine sits beneath the bonnet. But expect it to be as feisty as the car.

The original 1972 3.0 CSL (coupé sport leichtbau, or lightweight) took its name from the 3.0 CS on which it was based. The 3.2-litre Batmobile incarnation was launched in 1973; a minimum of 100 had to be built and they had to have four seats in order to satisfy homologation requirements for the European touring car championship.

In Germany the outlandish rear wing was stored in the boot when cars were delivered to customers — the authorities ruled that it was illegal for use on public roads.

If drivers would like to see the modern 3.0 CSL Hommage make the leap from concept to production car, they’ll need to pester BMW and its dealers with the determination of a toddler in a toy shop. We’re happy to do our bit too.

BMW 3.0 CSL Hommage specifications

N.b. Stats derived from BMW M4 coupé

  • Engine: 2979cc, straight-six
  • Power: 425bhp
  • Torque: 406 lb ft
  • Transmission: 7-speed dual-clutch
  • Acceleration: 0-62mph in 4.1sec
  • Top speed: 155mph