BMW first showed off a 3.0 CSL concept in 2015.
Over the past dozen or so years, BMW has released a handful of "Hommage" concept cars, modern takes on the brand's iconic models like the M1 supercar and original 2002. The coolest of them all was the 3.0 CSL Hommage from 2015, which had radical retro styling that also previewed BMW's current controversial design elements like the large grille. Recent rumors suggested some sort of CSL Hommage would actually be going into production this year for BMW M's 50th anniversary, and now the car has been confirmed via an Instagram post from M division CEO Frank van Meel.
The two images show the retro coupe covered in a colorful camouflage wrap made up of photos of iconic M cars, but we can still see plenty of juicy details. The new CSL Hommage is obviously based on the existing M4 coupe, so hard points like the windows and pillars need to stay the same, but otherwise it seems like the bodywork got a complete overhaul.
Up front the kidney grilles are still huge, but a little smaller than on the regular M4, and they have a much more attractive shape that pinches in at the bottom like on the original CSL concept. There are oval intakes at the corners of the bumper, reshaped openings below the grille, a prominent splitter and a new hood, and it looks like the headlights might have new LED signatures.
But it's the rear three-quarter shot that really shows how different this car will be. The front and rear fenders are wider than on the normal M4, and it looks like the CSL has the same sculpted rear fender shape as on the 2015 concept. The angular fenders flow into an integrated spoiler that's reminiscent of the original 3.0 CSL from the 1970s, and there's a similar spoiler at the top of the roof as well. We can also see that the new CSL has new wheels, a redesigned diffuser and updated taillights, and the license plate has been moved to below the trunk lid.
BMWBlog reports that the new 3.0 CSL, as it may be named, will be based on the recently unveiled M4 CSL but feature a number of mechanical tweaks. Like the M4 CSL, the retro model will be rear-wheel drive, but unlike the M4, it will only be offered with a manual transmission -- the camo wrap has a sticker that says "6MT FTW." It'll be even more powerful, too: The M4 CSL puts out 543 horsepower, but the 3.0 CSL will apparently make 600 hp and be able to hit 62 mph in 3.5 seconds. Expect an even more stripped-out interior for less weight, too.
Only 50 of the 3.0 CSL are set to built, and it's unlikely to be sold in the US. The starting price is rumored to be well over $700,000, which would make the new CSL BMW's most expensive production car yet. Expect the 3.0 CSL to make its world debut at Pebble Beach later this summer.