The BMW 3.0 CSL is Back! But There’s a Huge Catch…

BMW's only building 50, and none of them are coming to North America

Meet the return of a legend: the BMW 3.0 CSL.

There’s some extremely pleasant news to digest as we emerge from our Thanksgiving food comas: The BMW 3.0 CSL is back! As it happens, the M division showed off a limited-run homage to one of its most iconic cars in the past half-century. For those who need a quick refresher, the original 3.0 CSL debuted in 1972, as a homologation model for the European Touring Car Championship. Along with the M1 later in the decade, this car set the tone for the staggeringly good driver’s cars that were to come.

Now, the folks over in Bavaria saw fit to resurrect the 3.0 CSL through a modern interpretation, though the M division stresses this isn’t just a dressed up M4. The visual distinctions are a crucial element of this car’s debut, however, with the flared fenders and distinctive spoiler on the trunk. To that, BMW’s also giving 3.0 CSL buyers a whack of carbon fiber (that comprises the roof panel, trunk lid and sills), as well as 20-inch wheels in the front and 21-inch wheels at the rear, wrapped with purpose-built Michelin tires.

2022 BMW 3.0 CSL news

Underneath, the 3.0 CSL gets — you guessed it — a 3.0-liter straight-six with a forged crankshaft and a beefed up cooling system. At its core, it’s still the S58 engine you’d get in the M3 or M4, but BMW tuned it to put out 560 horsepower and 404 lb-ft of torque in this application. If you’re keeping score, that does make this rare 3.0 CSL the most powerful road-legal straight-six engine BMW’s slotted in one of its M-derived cars to date. As is the CSL (“Coupe Sport Lightweight”) way, you get rear-wheel drive and a 6-speed manual transmission.

That’s right, there’s no 8-speed automatic or all-wheel drive option available here. Good — it shouldn’t have either. What you do get, though, is the M adaptive suspension and carbon ceramic brakes.

So, there you have it — an homage that celebrates BMW M’s 50th birthday and one of the brand’s most iconic cars ever. Production is limited to just 50 units, making it unlikely you’ll ever see one, sadly. If you do, though, it will be a special sight indeed. The cars will take around three months to make, and will sport an engraved serial number on the passenger-side instrument panel.

2022 BMW 3.0 CSL news

When can you buy one in the U.S.? Ha! Wishful thinking there, my friend. None of the 50 cars are destined for our shores, so you definitely won’t see one here (at least not through normal means). Still, this is a sweet looking modern CSL on BMW M’s part, and no doubt those each example is going to fetch a pretty penny.

At least even the “normal” BMW M3 and M4 Competition models are a blast in their own right: