By Fabrizio Panico
All photographs by, and copyright of, the Author.
The third item in the “Hommage Collection” is the BMW 2015 3.0 CSL Hommage concept car. This is presented by Norev in its striking “acid” yellow livery (BMW part no. 80 43 2 413 753).
The concept car was unveiled at the event Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este 2015 to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the E9 CSL. It clearly reflected the later version of the CSL coupe, better known as the Batmobile, which is a real cult car for every BMW fan.
It is a working and driveable car. It is an hybrid with a 3 litre twin-turbo straight-six up front plus an e-motor in the rear, developing 500 bhp which is delivered through an eight-speed automatic gearbox to the rear wheels. It is fitted with vast 21 inch tyres (265/35 and 325/30). Aluminium and carbon fibre are almost everywhere in order to keep the weight to a minimum.
The minimalist interior is DTM inspired. It is a very race-oriented cockpit, with a few retro touches, but many details are clearly inspired by avionics and competition cars. The exterior is a constant reminder of the original CSL, from the imposing rear wing to the black longitudinal splitters riding the front wings. From the front low set air dam to the double rear spoilers, from the wildly flared wheel arches to the full-length black rallye stripes. It’s all there, lovingly re-created.
But much more than a rolling celebration of the wide-bodied menace that scared Capris and Carreras in the 1970s, it wants to be an elegant and dynamic image of one of BMW’s finest hours. Suffice to say that later in 2015, at Pebble Beach, BMW presented the 3.0 CSL Hommage R, a white monster much more akin to the original Batmobile, indeed a competition version of the 3.0 CSL Hommage. Will we ever see it in 1:18th scale? Norev, please ….
Needless to say the Norev model faithfully reproduces the real one: every small detail is present, from the central single-arm wiper resting in an upright position to the two tiny cameras doing the job of wing mirrors, and the wrap-over wings. A real gem, the doors open on a beautifully detailed interior, but lot of details are almost lost in the dark interior, indeed to do it justice you need to look with a torch.
The model is diecast in metal as usual with only the doors opening. The only criticism that could be made is of the box graphics which are, let’s say, a bit “wild”. This is the same as the other boxes already released, (See photograph below). The graphics are quite untypical of BMW, but that’s my personal opinion.
The BMW E9 was a coupé built by Karmann from 1968 to 1975 and developed from the 2000 CS, enlarged to hold the straight-six engine used in the E3 saloon and with the front restyled to resemble the same E3.
There were three different iterations : the carburettor-fed 180 hp MkI (1971-72), the fuel-injected 200 hp MkII (1972-73) and the 206 hp “Batmobile” (1973-75). Developed from the E9 in conjunction with Alpina, the “Batmobile” attained almost instant cult status thanks to its outrageous aero kit and full dominance of the European Touring Car championship through the 1970s, with drivers of the standard of Dieter Quester, Hans-Joachim Stuck and Niki Lauda.
The 3.0 CSL was indeed a homologation special : initially using the same engine as the 3.0 CS, was then given a very small increase in displacement to 3,003cc to allow the CSL to be raced in the “over three litre” racing category.
Then in 1973 it was given another, more substantial increase in displacement to 3,153cc (192.4 cu in). This final version of the 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 (not installed at the factory, but left in the boot for installation after purchase, because the wings were illegal for use on German roads). The full aero package earned the racing CSL the nickname “Batmobile”.
The Minichamps model (BMW no. 80 43 2 411 550) is another beautiful gem: diecast in metal with many opening parts and a very detailed chassis.
Engine, gearbox, suspension and exhaust system are all faithfully reproduced, only the screw fixing points spoiling them.
The livery is the standard white (the real one was available only in white or in silver), but if you want a close comparison to the Hommage edition, you can find it in the same yellow in a limited edition model from MInichamps which is not features in BMW stores (Minichamps no. 180 029028).
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