You see, in 1975, BMW Motorsport began racing in the United States. They used a bespoke, IMSA-spec 3.0 CSL, and began winning at many historic places including Laguna Seca and the 12 Hours of Sebring. That white, liveried CSL ended up winning the manufacturers’ championship in its debut year.
To mark 40 years since that achievement, BMW has built this Hommage racing concept – in the mould of the gorgeous Hommage road concept we saw a couple of months ago – to celebrate. Well, beats a pie and a pint at your local.
It’s been built of lightweight materials, including much carbon fibre, with BMW design chief Karim Habib telling us it references function and “the requirements of motor sport”. Spot the flared arches, the stretched body with air deflectors, and, like the ‘regular’ Hommage, that wonderful rear wing that emerges almost from the rear arches.
Up front, BMW tells us this has the broadest and lowest face of any model in the family. There are laser lights and LED tech, a huge carbon fibre front splitter, and the mother of all kidney grilles.
Sweep around to the back, and a carbon fibre double diffuser complements that lovely rear wing, itself adorned with a row of LEDs linking the two lights together.
Inside, it’s suitably spartan, race-ready and built almost entirely using carbon fibre: there’s an integrated carbon fibre roll cage, a pair of carbon seat shells and a rear CF structural brace all intertwined. The driver’s display is actually integrated through the visor of the driver’s helmet as a HUD, while arguably our favourite touch is that wooden dashboard strip through which information is illuminated.
Everything else is on the steering wheel, and while there is no mention made of a powertrain, with a name like ‘3.0 CSL’, we suspect the M3/M4 3.0-litre turbo sixer is lurking under the bonnet and an ‘eboost’ system, using energy accumulators situated behind and underneath the seats. Also, it’s almost definitely rear-wheel-drive.
“The BMW 3.0 CSL Hommage R combines all the classic BMW hallmarks within a modern and emotionally rich design language,” says BMW, “adding even greater lustre to the already glittering engineering achievement of 40 years ago.”
This needs to go racing, immediately.
We couldn’t agree more. This needs to go racing, immediately.
A version of this story appeared on TopGear.com.