BMW'S RETRO RACER: BMW showed off its 3.0 CSL Hommage R, a modern interpretation of its successful 3.0 CSL race from the 1970s. Image: BMW
PEBBLE BEACH, California - BMW unveiled its 3.0 CSL Hommage R at the prestigious Concours d’Elegance in Pebble Beach this weekend (August 15-16 2015).
The car celebrates two milestones - the 40th anniversary of BMW in North America and the racing success of the 1975 BMW 3.0 CSL.
The BMW 3.0 CSL won the 12-hour race endurance at Sebring in Florida. This was followed by a series of victories, including one at Laguna Seca in California.
BMW says its design team of the Hommage started by, the automaker says, "understanding the driver and their focus".
"This made for the seamless integration of the driver into the car, the designers extrapolated the principle of driver focus beyond the geometric form of the interior.
"In the Hommage, the idea of centering attention on the driver begins with his or her immediate surroundings."
WATCH: BMW 3.0 CSL HOMMAGE R in action
As the layer of interaction closest to the driver, the helmet visor assumes the functions of a display and projects situation-based information such as speed, gears and engine revs into the driver’s direct field of view.
The Hommage uses a heads-up display, by flagging up driving-related information without distracting the driver. It has carbon-fibred seat shells and a carbon-fibred roll-cage integrated into the structure of the roof and side sections.
The interior is almost entirely from carbon-fibre, the only wood-like presence is the "instrument panel", a reference to a central element of the earlier BMW 3.0 CSL, in which even the racing version had distinctive wood trim.
A "comfort" function sees two vents positioned on the sides of the steering column supplying the driver with fresh cool air. A small display, also on the steering column provides the driver with secondary information such as lap times, overall race time and the car’s current track position.
Racing elements are strongly displayed by outlet nozzles for fire extinguishing foam, the extinguisher itself and the two switches on the centre console for the emergency shut-off and fire extinguishing mechanism.
The rear has space for two helmets integrated into the centre tunnel. These are held in place by a belt when not in use. Underneath the longitudinal braces jutting out to the rear are the covers for the eBoost energy accumulators.
Karim Habib, BMW head designer said: "Both inside and outside, the BMW 3.0 CSL Hommage R is primarily a reflection of its function.
"The exterior and interior design is based around the requirements of motor sport as far as the car and driver are concerned; aerodynamics and driving dynamics on the one hand, the most direct connection between driver and machine on the other."
Habib says that’s something the Hommage car expresses in a very emotional way. At the same time, all the details from the BMW 3.0 CSL are present in this model. And they are all there to be discovered in their original form. It’s a bow to the 1975 car."
Every detail of the Hommage car has its originates from the racing machine from 1975, the difference is, BMW has added post-modern design cues to bring it to a whole new generation.
A modern feature is the laser lighting and LED technology which enable slim, modern light graphics, and the narrow contours of the headlights. Blue-lit “X” inside the lights separates the light functions from one another and also recalls the X-shaped headlight taping used for endurance races.
The long wheelbase and sweeping bonnet stretch the Hommage car’s silhouette. The exclusive colour is brilliant white with its slight metallic effect.
BMW says the dark carbon-fibre surfaces round off the flanks at their lower edge and illustrate the lightweight design. Eye-catching gold 21" light alloys with black inlays add a touch of gangster flare to the car.
The Hommage features a large rear spoiler and a carbon-fibred diffuser aids aerodynamics while the contoured rear apron draws the eye to the car’s wheels.
A distinctive rear light design features a strip of LEDs extending along the spoiler to link the two lights and providing a stylistic border for the rear end.
BMW says the bonnet fans out in a wide "V” from kidney grille to headlights, recalling a striking and dynamic element of earlier BMW coupes.