BMW 3.0 CSL Hommage concept for Villa d’Este 2015

Published: 22 May 2015

► New 2015 BMW 3.0 CSL Hommage finally unveiled
► Lightweight coupe is shown at Villa d’Este show
► Latest in line of ‘Hommage’ cars from Munich

BMW has unveiled this gorgeous new 3.0 CSL Hommage at the 2015 Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este, the genteel motor show on the shores of lake Como that BMW part-sponsors each year.

It’s a jaw-dropping reinterpretation of the original 1970s sports coupe, one of the seminal BMW models tucked into Munich’s back catalogue. And after an initial teaser shot, today we can publish the full photographs of the concept car, painted a vibrant shade of Golf Yellow.

And this CSL is true to its heritage, vows BMW: those fabled initials stand for Coupe Sport Leichtbau (coupe, sport, lightweight, remember) and the original coupe shaved 200kg off the 3.0 CS by using aluminium and plexiglass windows; the 2015-spec CSL uses with carbonfibre and other composites to shave the kilos away.

Is it too retro or a modernistic take on the CSL? Be sure to tell us in the comments below.

BMW 3.0 CSL Hommage: the specs

The new CSL is an extravagantly designed two-door sports coupe, with a foot in both ancient and modern camps. The aero addenda adorning the bodywork reference the 1970s air deflectors running along the bonnet, while the roof spoiler and boot wing are all nods to the seminal silhouette of the 3.0.

BMW 3.0 CSL Hommage concept at Villa d'Este

Note also the BMW roundels repeated on the C-pillar, a high degree of shark nose and that extravagant rear wing is linked to the carbonfibre rear apron below with LED lamps bleeding along the trailing edge of the spoiler.

Adrian van Hooydonk, senior vice president of design at BMW, said: ‘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. 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.’

A hybrid CSL

In case you hadn’t noticed, hybridisation is the order of the day in 2015 – and BMW is charging headlong into the new world order with batteries powering everything from i3s and i8s to 3-series and X5s. And, yes, even the Hommage succumbs, with a new eBoost energy system to harvest wasted energy ready to be deployed when the driver needs an overtaking boost on track.

The rear seats are dumped in favour of hardware to make this eBoost system work. Sadly, BMW is not yet announcing any deeper mechanical details, performance figures or tech specs. Still, we can but dream… an M3 engine with electrical boost?

Pared-back dashboard, quilted sports seats and THAT steering wheel dominate 3.0 CSL Hommage interior

Inside cabin of the CSL

The minimalist theme continues inside the 3.0 CSL: much of the usual clutter of modern dashboards is jettisoned in favour of simple instrumentation, visible carbonfibre elements and a pair of lightweight, quilted sports seats with six-point harnesses.

And that steering wheel? It’s more of a joystick control, a cut-back wheel that’d look more at home in a Le Mans racer. And that wooden ‘IP’, where you’d normally find the dials, is a structural element designed to echo the dash in the 1970s CSL.

BMW and the art of the Hommage concepts

This is the latest in a line of BMW ‘Hommage’ models created to celebrate the upmarket Villa d’Este auto show in Italy. Back in 2008 it doffed its hat to its 1970s supercar with the the M1 Hommage and in 2011 there was the 328 Hommage.

Sadly, neither car ever saw the light of day, although the Mini Superleggera shown at the 2014 Villa d’Este show is destined to enter production. Here’s hoping that the new 3.0 CSL concept could stand a better chance of making a leap from show-stopper to showroom, just like the original 3.0 CSL (below) did.

The original BMW 3.0 CSL: would they dare revive it?

By Tim Pollard

Group digital editorial director, motoring news magnet