BMW has just unveiled its 3.0 CSL Hommage R Concept, an update on the original 3.0 CSL Hommage Concept revealed back in May. The original 3.0 CSL was a lightweight car that won many sports car races in the 1970s. The first Concept was meant to honor that heritage and celebrate BMW’s 4oth year in the US car market.
Unfortunately, the car was widely panned by critics and the public alike, who saw it as an unholy mess of angles, extrusions, sweeps, swoops, and curves that was an affront to the eye. The fact that BMW chose to paint it a godawful shade of bilious yellow did nothing for the car’s looks. Parents hid their children’s eyes from its hideousness, lest they have nightmares through puberty.
Let that be a lesson to car companies the world over. The car was obviously designed by committee, with different people responsible for different design elements. In fact, the BMW press release back then waxes eloquent about the contrapuntal elegance of the cars flanks, the muscular presence of its rear end, the muscular athleticism of the front, and its racing genes and lightweight design with finesse. Good Lord, people. Such over-the-top exuberance seldom leads to a satisfying finished product.
BMW was stung by the criticism and decided to rework the concept a bit. The reconfigured 3.0 CSL Hommage R plays directly to the racing winning ways of the original car. Gone is the puke yellow paint. In its place is a pure white car that sports the familiar blue and red colors that have graced BMW race cars for decades. A bold rear spoiler helps unify the exterior styling. Most of the car’s instrumentation is now routed directly to the visor of the driver’s helmet — sort of a head’s up display on steroids.
The car is not intended for production but may offer clues to what future BMW sports cars may look like. BMW is working on a replacement for the Z4 in conjunction with Toyota. It is also rumored to have new models in mind for its high tech “i” division. Could we see some of the design language from the new Concept in those cars?
The 3.0 CSL Hommage R Concept will debut official at Pebble Beach this weekend.