BMW’s line of Hommage concepts at the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este that pay tribute to the firm’s heritage was expanded today with the 30 CSL study.
The vibrant ‘Golf Yellow’ concept draws inspiration from the 1970s 3.0 CSL, with those initials standing for Coupe Sport Leichtbau, or Coupe, Sport, Lightweight in English.
“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,” said BMW head designer Adrian van Hooydonk.
“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.”
The original 3.0 CSL shed some 200kg (440 lbs) over the 3.0 CS, which is quite an accomplishment given that we’re talking about the 1970s. The 3.0 CSL Hommage concept isn’t based on an existing car, but BMW supposedly designed it from scratch to be as light as a feather – we say ‘supposedly’ because no numbers were released.
Whereas the original CSL used plenty of aluminum to keep its weight down, its modern-day sibling’s material of choice is carbon-fibre-reinforced plastic (CFRP), which is visible on the car both inside and out.
If you’re waiting to hear what that “3.0” translates under the hood, BMW told us that power comes from “a powerful six-cylinder in-line engine with eBoost” or in other words, a hybrid unit. Again, no other specific details were shared about the mechanical choices.
And with that, we come to what could be the most controversial aspect of the concept: the exterior design. It’s not that it looks bad from all angles, as the profile is a nicely done, modern interpretation of the 3.0 CSL, but it’s when you see the car straight on from the front or the rear that things get…well, complicated.
The rear seems like a forced attempt to incorporate the styling elements of the new i8 onto an otherwise retro design, while the front with those horrifically large double-kidney grilles is like a half-baked effort to connect it to BMW’s Vision Future Luxury Concept from last year. At least that’s my 2 cents.
Inside, BMW went for a minimalistic approach combining futuristic details such as the unpractical cutback steering wheel and digital dash with an…acre of wood trim behind the dash. It’s a strictly two-seater model with the front passengers getting quilted sports seats with six-point harnesses.
Speaking about the car’s styling, Karim Habib, Head of BMW Design, commented: “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”.