Back in the 1970s, BMW conceived a vehicle especially built for eligibility to race in the European Touring Car Championship.
That car was the BMW 3.0 CSL, which was introduced to the world in May 1972, and a total of 1265 of these machines were produced.
Unlike any other BMW, the 3.0 CSL was a lightweight design specifically homologated for racing.
The “L” in the designation stood for ‘light’, and the lightness of the 3.0 CSL was achieved by using a thinner steel to build the unit body.
This resulted in cancelling out the trim and soundproofing of the vehicle, by using aluminium alloy doors, bonnet and boot lid.
Initially, the 3.0 CSL used the same engine as the 3.0 CS but the CSL was given very small increase on displacement to 3,003 cc by increasing the engine bore by one quarter of a millimetre.
In 1973, the engine was given a substantial increase in displacement to 3,153 cc.
The final version of the BMW 3.0 CSL was homologated in July 1973 along with an aerodynamic package including a large air dam, short fins running along the front fenders, a spoiler above and behind the trailing edge of the roof and a tall rear wing.
This car was a smart move by BMW and that shows in its successes with racing.
The BMW 3.0 CSL won the European Touring Car Championship and again saw victory at Le Mans.
It landed second place scoring a silver medal only to lose to another BMW 3.0 CSL at the German Touring Car Grand Prix in 1973.
Between 1973 and 1979, the BMW 3.0 CSL took the winning title again and again!