BMW 3.0 CSL Hommage R (2015): Batmobile concept earns its stripes

Published: 14 August 2015

New ‘R’ evolution of Hommage concept
Retro paint job based on 1975 CSL racer
On show at 2015 Pebble Beach Concours

Not content with showing off the aggressive new M4 GTS show car, BMW has also brought along a reimagining of its striking 3.0 CSL Hommage concept to Pebble Beach 2015.

The BMW 3.0 CSL Hommage R is a race-inspired evolution of the Hommage concept first unveiled at Villa d’Este in May 2015.

BMW says the car’s purpose is to celebrate the 40th anniversary of BMW of North America, founded in 1975 – which coincidentally was also a successful year of pot gathering for the original BMW 3.0 CSL ‘Batmobile’ competition car in various races across the States.

The new car’s livery is a bit of a tribute to the BMW Motorsport paint job on the original ’75 car, ‘Bavarian Motor Works’ legend on the sun strip and all.

Stripy stickers aside, what’s actually changed compared with the original CSL Hommage concept?

The wheels are new matt gold designs with black inlays, measuring an equally gigantic 21 inches to the blingy chrome ones on the original show car.

It’s learnt a few new tricks inside, too. The seats are even more serious than the racing buckets previously fitted, sprouting carbonfibre bracing that extends into the surrounding structure and the instrument panel (which itself is a structural crossmember) sports an illuminated display of the Laguna Seca track layout and braking points – chosen because it’s a track that’s only 12 miles from Pebble Beach, and one that 1975 CSL did pretty well at. Incidentally, that instrument panel is about the only bit of the cabin that isn’t carbonfibre – it’s designed to look a bit like the wooden trim inside all of the 1970s Batmobiles (even the racing ones).

Anything else interesting about the Hommage R?

It comes with its own wardrobe: a special crash helmet visor that projects speed, gear and revs into the driver’s field of vision like a head-up display, and a race suit by Puma to go with it. The suit uses illuminated piping that lights up when both the driver’s hands are on the steering wheel, pulsing with every pull of the gearshift paddles – for what purpose, other than looking pretty, isn’t entirely clear.

For all its motorsport flavouring, of course, the BMW 3.0 CSL Homamge R won’t actually be taking to any starting grids any time soon. More’s the pity.

Did you know CAR has driven the BMW 3.0 CSL Hommage concept? Click here to read Georg Kacher’s view from behind the show car’s wheel

By James Taylor

CAR's deputy features editor, occasional racer