The legendary BMW 3.0CSL Batmobile is responsible for stoking our obsession with the brand. Whether you were lucky enough to witness one in the flesh when they were contesting races in Group 5, or simply learned about the iconic model that first bore BMW Motorsport’s famous tricolor livery, the 3.0CSL has to be one of the automaker’s best public relations pieces. After all, they draw a crowd anywhere they go, and hearing a racing version pass by at full tilt is something you’ll likely never forget.

There’s a lot to know about the 3.0CSL though, from how it came to be, the full story of the blue, purple, and red M colors, its evolution over time, and what sets different variations apart. BMW Classic scratches the surface in a new five-minute video going over a few details of model, and whether you’ve done a nut-and-bolt restoration on one of the chassis, or have only ever appreciated them through a screen, you might learn something new.

With only 1,265 built (1,000 were needed to homologate the model for Group 2), the 3.0CSL has become one of the more valuable models in BMW’s expansive production portfolio. Although the 3.0CSL could be ordered with a so-called “city package” which did away with the model-specific alloy panels, thinner glass, and other weight-saving changes, every example is unique and special. They’re so special, in fact, that instead of using an original chassis for circuit appearances and other press functions, BMW built a replica in 2015, and that’s what appears in the video.

2021 marks the 50th anniversary of the BMW 3.0CSi and 3.0CSL. To appreciate just how important and transformational BMW’s original big coupe was, check out the video below.—Alex Tock

[Photos and video courtesy BMW AG.]



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