40 years ago, BMW embarked on its maiden campaign in the American IMSA series with the 3.0 CSL, winning the Manufacturers’ championship. This, the BMW CSL Hommage R concept, on display at Pebble Beach this weekend, pays tribute to that legendary racer.
We first saw the CSL Hommage at the Vila d’Este concours in Italy earlier this year. It proved somewhat divisive, though the retro lime green colour scheme might have had something to do with that.
For Pebble Beach, The Hommage R wears the same livery as that ’75 racing car, which compliments the angular, ‘sharknose’ lines perfectly. The term ‘modern interpretation’ is overused these days, but in this case that’s exactly what the Hommage R is. It is an exact evolution of the original car’s design. I think it looks fantastic.
Key to the original CSL’s success in racing was its radical aero package, which is translated to the Hommage R. Deep bumpers front and back, air deflectors along the top of the front wings, and not one but two enormous spoilers are complimented by more modern elements like the rear diffuser.
In line with its new role as a racer, the Hommage R’s futuristic interior is built around the driver and BMW has even reimagined his racing gear, with an info display in the helmet visor and a race suit that shows the flow of information from the instruments to the visor.
Though the interior is almost entirely made from carbonfibre, the trademark wood strip of the original is echoed across the dashboard. Only here, it displays the layout of whichever track you happen to be on.
BMW hasn’t indicated what sort of powertrain the CSL Hommage R uses, though mention of ‘eBoost energy accumulators’ suggests it uses a hybrid system, perhaps attached to the 3.0-litre, twin-turbo motor from the M3/M4.
Sadly, the Hommage R is a complete flight of fancy. But some elements might find their way onto BMW’s road cars. The laser headlights certainly will, and the dashboard could preview next-gen tech. Personally, I’m hoping it signals a return of the ‘sharknose’, too.
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By Only Motors