To mark its 50th anniversary, BMW M GmbH, the BMW Group’s motorsports subsidiary, which was founded in 1972, has unveiled the most exclusive special model it has ever developed: the BMW 3.0 CSL (fuel consumption combined: 11.0 l/100 km; CO2 emissions combined: 249 g/km WLTP; NEDC data: – ).
The small series, strictly limited to just 50 models, is inspired by the historic BMW 3.0 CSL – the “Batmobile” – from the early 1970s and features custom paintwork expertise from BMW Group Plant Landshut.
Around 20 exterior components for the unmistakable design of the special model will be refined by paint finishing specialists from Landshut. Several of the carbon-fibre reinforced plastic (CFRP) components are also manufactured in Landshut.
The Landshut plant is very familiar with special paint jobs like this. In addition to creating small-series and custom paintwork, more than 1,200 painted plastic outer panel sections come out of the plant in 40 standard and 200 custom colours every workday.
That adds up to around 273,000 components per year. Now, Landshut’s custom paintwork expertise is also being showcased in the 50 BMW 3.0 CSLs, including in the front and rear side panels, the roof and rear spoilers, the front and rear bumpers, side-sills, bonnet, carbon-fibre roof and tailgate.
The bonnet and roof – both made of CFRP – are manufactured in an elaborate, highly specialised craft-scale process at BMW Group Plant Landshut. Thanks to the high percentage of carbon fibre, the BMW CSL 3.0 boasts a power to weight ratio of just 2.9 kilograms/hp – an excellent example of intelligent lightweight construction in a BMW M car that is in a class of its own.
It is also clear from the outside that the BMW 3.0 CSL combines the very best of five decades of motor racing expertise: Its paintwork, in the style of classic race cars, sports the brand-defining M stripes, known as the livery, in blue, dark blue and red, on an Alpine White solid base colour. The livery stripes along the body trace the curvature of its surfaces to great effect, reinforcing the Coupé’s powerful aesthetics.
It was precisely these livery stripes that presented the biggest challenge in painting the mounted parts, as Project Manager Dr Christian Koch explains: “The transitions between the M stripes, from one component to the next, had to be absolutely perfect. For example, the stripes on the side panel have to be at exactly the same height as on the door to make sure the optics are aligned. That takes a lot of painting know-how, individual experience and flair.” Unlike many other visually striking special editions, the stripes are not applied using film; they are painted. Close coordination with the specialists at BMW Group Plant Dingolfing is also required – since they apply the paint to the door, as well as to the vehicle body.
The Landshut custom paint shop has developed a special process for such demanding tasks: The livery design is projected onto each component using a laser projector, so it precisely aligns with the next body element.
The meticulous process of masking the lines between different-coloured surfaces is carried out manually by specially trained experts following the laser projections. Up to eight customised contour films and up to seven layers of paint are required for each component.
In addition to adding the M stripes, it is also the job of the Landshut paint experts to position the “M Power” badge on the rear spoiler and the “50” on the roof. Even these details, which are so central to the appearance of the special model, are masked by hand.
Unlike with the livery stripes, the Landshut experts do not expose any layers of paint, but, instead, reveal the visible carbon fibre. This creates slight indentations in the surface – so the high-tech material of the components can also be experienced haptically.
The individual exterior components of the BMW 3.0 CSL are assembled in an advanced craft workshop in Moosthenning, an external site operated by BMW Group Plant Dingolfing.
“We are proud that the craftsmanship and innovative spirit of our highly specialised paint finishing experts has once again helped create such an exclusive special model as the BMW 3.0 CSL,” said Koch.