Features

Detroit auto show highlights: BMW 3.0 CSL IMSA

One of BMW's most iconic racing cars graced the marque's Detroit show stand

If you've not watched Adrenalin - The BMW Touring Car Story yet, you really should. Covering BMW's touring car history from the 1960s to the present day, it's enough to convince even the most ardent BMW hater of the brand's worth.

The film presents a revealing insight into a passion that rarely comes across in the business-led world of modern motorsport. It's a visual feast too, not least on its cover, where BMW's 1975 entrant into the American IMSA series takes centre stage. The 3.0 CSL is already a striking vehicle, but box-arched and wearing deep-dish alloy wheels, it takes on a whole new persona.

Subscribe to evo magazine

Subscribe today to our exclusive new offer and SAVE 39% on the shop price, get evo for its original cover price of £3.00 an issue, plus get a FREE gift worth £20!

BMW featured just such a vehicle on its stand at the Detroit auto show. Prepared to Group 2 touring car specification, the U.S. campaign began when the oil crisis hit in Europe and racing was no longer economically viable.

READ: BMW M3 GTS v 3.0 CSL

Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below

The cars used a larger engine than the production car, at 3.5-litres, and the 24v unit produced as much as 430bhp - over double that of the production CSL and similar to that of a brand new BMW M4. Weight dropped to little over a tonne, while wheels were as wide as they were tall at 16in x 16in, shod in racing slicks.

BMW's busy motor show stand meant we couldn't spend as much time pouring over the CSL's details as we'd have liked, but in the Motorsport Division's familiar red, blue and purple racing stripes with polished wheels and a shark-nosed front, BMW's newer models were having a hard time competing for attention.

The CSL's spiritual successor, the BMW M6, will soon be competing for itself in international motorsport, replacing the Z4 as BMW's FIA GT3 car of choice. Will it have the same wow-factor as the CSL? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below.

Advertisement

Recommended

Visit/bmw/202285/bmw-i4-concept-previews-all-electric-4-series-gran-coupe-derivative
BMW

BMW i4 Concept previews all-electric 4-series Gran Coupe derivative

3 Mar 2020
Visit/bmw/201827/bmw-m-performance-parts-pricing-availability-and-range
BMW

BMW M Performance parts: pricing, availability and range

29 Jan 2020
Visit/bmw/202120/bmw-m-gmbh-outperforms-amg-posting-record-sales-figures
BMW

BMW M GmbH outperforms AMG, posting record sales figures

17 Jan 2020
Visit/bmw/201850/bmw-design-and-the-sorry-slide-from-quiet-confidence-to-muddled-mediocrity
BMW

'The sorry slide from quiet confidence to muddled mediocrity'

15 Oct 2019
Advertisement

Most Popular

Visit/porsche/911-turbo/202379/new-porsche-911-turbo-gains-lightweight-and-sport-packages
Porsche 911 Turbo

New Porsche 911 Turbo gains Lightweight and Sport packages 

The 2020 Porsche 911 Turbo hasn’t been with us for long, but a raft of packages and optional extras are already in the pipeline
26 Mar 2020
Visit/land-rover/defender/202375/new-land-rover-defender-x-p400-review
Land Rover Defender

New Land Rover Defender X P400 review

Land Rover’s all new Defender proves to be worth the wait and is now as capable on road as it is off it. It’s no driver’s car but as a do everything m…
25 Mar 2020
Visit/corvette/202016/1200bhp-hennessey-c8-corvette-shown-testing-on-video
Corvette

1200bhp Hennessey C8 Corvette shown testing on video

The C8 Corvette has only just hit showrooms, but Hennessey Performance already has big plans...
26 Mar 2020
Visit/features/22907/hyundai-i30-fastback-n-versus-the-col-de-turini
Hyundai i30 N hatchback

Hyundai i30 Fastback N versus the Col de Turini

We take the Hyundai i30 Fastback N up the Col de Turini, a 31km stage of the Monte Carlo World Rally Championship
19 Jul 2019