Home » The BMW 3.0 CSL Is A Slightly More Powerful M4 That Maybe Costs $750,000

The BMW 3.0 CSL Is A Slightly More Powerful M4 That Maybe Costs $750,000

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The BMW M brand means a certain thing to some people. Or it means a something to certain people. BMW assumes that, for its 50th anniversary, the brand means enough to those people that they’ll  spend upwards of $750,000 (reportedly) to buy an extremely custom built BMW M4 CSL the company is calling the BMW 3.0 CSL.

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A little housekeeping here: BMW did not announce a price, but BMW Blog’s sources say 750,000 EUR. It’s also seemingly not homologated for the United States, but maybe BMW will let private collectors have a couple for track-day specials? The fact that it was announced on Thanksgiving is pretty much key in understanding it’s probably not for us.

What Is The BMW 3.0 CSL?


In 1973, BMW’s motorsports division, aka BMW M, decided it was time to build a race car. That car was the 3.0 CSL, aka The Batmobile, and it won a bunch of races, including the 1973 Nürburgring Six-Hour with Chris Amon and Hans Stuck. It was a big deal, and for half a century BMW has been using the M name to mean “this is the fast one.”


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The letters in CSL also mean something. Specifically, those letters stand for Coupé Sport Leichtbau, which is German for Coupe Sport Lightweight Construction. The name has been carried over for various generations of BMW M3 and M4s, and you can buy a new BMW M4 CSL for about $140,000.

What if you wanted a BMW M4 CSL that’s completely handmade and way, way more expensive? Enter the 3.0 CSL, which is based on the M4 CSL but is better in a few ways. First, there are only ever going to be 50 of them. Second, these cars are hand-built with an extremely custom body meant to harken back to the original 3.0 CSL.

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It also has a six-speed manual, no back seat, and the most powerful inline-six ever put in a BMW production car at 560 hp, which is a lot more than the 206 hp of the 1973 car but only about 17 more horses than than the BMW M4 CSL.


The suspension sounds like what’s found on the M4 CSL (spring strut front axle/five-link rear axle) and the 3.0 also, unsurprisingly, gets carbon ceramic brakes.

Wait, Why Is It So Expensive?

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This is a piece of art you can drive. No one is buying this car as their first BMW. If you are calling up your BMW dealer upon seeing this it’s because you love BMW racing history and want something almost no one else can have and also have more than $750,0000. Maybe you drive it. It would be great if you bought this and drove it!  This is the Ultimate Ultimate Driving Machine so you should absolutely drive it.

The process of making this car is elaborate. Here’s how BMW describes the process:

The exclusive interior carbon fibre reinforced plastic (CFRP) components are produced by hand both in Munich and at the BMW Group component factory in Landshut by specially assigned bodywork specialists. [Editor’s Note: Landshut is home to the Landshuter Hochzeit festival. It’s basically a giant medieval celebration of a 1475 wedding between George of Bavaria and Hedwig Jagiellon, and is held every four years. It is entirely irrelevant to this article, but I thought I’d include it because it’s one of the coolest events I’ve ever attended. Anyway, back to cars. -DT].

A specific process was also conceived for the paintwork of the BMW 3.0 CSL, in which craftsmanship and state-of-the-art technology complement each other to provide each individual part with its characteristic colour design. In addition, a team of 30 specially qualified and experienced technicians is responsible for the configuration and assembly of the vehicles. Due to the complexity of the processes in the manufactory, each BMW 3.0 CSL passes through eight assembly cycles at just as many production stations, a procedure that takes up to 10 days in all.

All in all, the extremely high proportion of individual manual work means that the time required to assemble a BMW 3.0 CSL is many times higher than that of a conventional BMW M automobile. After completion in the manufactory, each vehicle also undergoes a multi-stage quality inspection and approval process at the main Dingolfing plant before it is released for delivery to the customer.

This partially explains the cost. The other reason it costs this much is: BMW thinks can charge this. There are only 50 of them! BMW is probably correct.



Because I’ll probably never be able to drive the car I can mostly judge it based on its aesthetics. It certainly looks better than the current M4 CSL. The grille treatment is more tasteful here, certainly, and I like the throwback Batmobile style wing which is fun in a way that most BMWs are not. The interior is fantastic, like basically all BMW interiors these days. The shiftknob alone is worth $50-$60k on its own.

I could easily spend $750,000 on a mix of new and old BMW M cars. I don’t think I could easily spend $750,000 on this. I hope this car feels as extremely special as it’s intended to be because it does not, on paper, feel that way to me. I want to be wrong. I want to be too jaded for this. I want this to be a case of me fundamentally misunderstanding some simple truth about a brand I like a lot that builds cars that I often like and sometimes love.

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