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  •   Chris Hrabalek reacted to this post about 4 years ago

    The heavy CS wasn’t a natural for the racetrack but #BMW race team #AC-Schnitzer could see its potential and had managed to extract 360 bhp from the engine by the early ’70s, which enouraged the factory to get involved. Accordingly, a lightweight version of the CS coupe – dubbed CSL – was the first to be developed by the newly formed #BMW-Motorsport GmbH.

    The first 169 cars made in #1971 were based on a standard 3.0 carburettor engine and used steel 18 per cent thinner than the regular BMW bodyshell, with a 25 per cent lock-up LSD, #Bilstein gas dampers, progressive rate coil springs and the now-famous 20-spoke Alpina wheel style. The rear bumper was replaced by a small black fibreglass item, the front bumper was removed entirely and replaced by a small air dam, the rear side windows were plastic and boot, doors and bonnet were all alloy. The chromed arch extensions and side stripes completed the job, while inside was a pair of Scheel bucket seats and no power steering.

    In summer 1972 a second batch of 1096 cars was made, of which 500 were reserved for the UK market. With the engine now taken up to 3003cc to allow it to fall within the FIA’s over-3 litre category, the cars used the Bosch injection and British-market cars were supplied with the ‘City Pack’ which added back the front and rear bumpers, electric windows, tinted glass, power steering, carpets, heated rear window and sound deadening. Not so lightweight then. A third batch of cars was produced in 1973 to homologate the famous ‘Batmobile’ aerodynamic package for racing. The engine was now 3153cc and the cars were supplied with the full spoiler kit including the bonnet fi ns and roof hoop, although the boot was now steel to take the 30 kg weight of the downforce induced by that rear spoiler. Just 57 examples were made, all left-hand drive and offered in only Chamonix White or Polaris Silver.

    The CSL is a very specialist proposition when compared to the regular CS coupes and there are many more cars wearing the full ‘Batmobile’ kit than were ever produced by BMW. It’s further confused by so many CSLs being sold with the full complement of luxury kit, so check chassis numbers to be sure. BMW UK is very efficient at this kind of thing.


    We spoke to the experts at Lancaster Insurance (01480 4484 26, regarding the cost of a classic car policy for a 45-year old sales manager living in Gloucestershire GL2 post code area and driving no more than 5000 miles a year in an unmodified #1972 3.0 CSi. Our imgainary owner keeps their BMW in a garage next to the house and has a clean driving licence which they have held for over 20 years. The car's got an agreed value of around £20,000 and the estimated annual premium to insure the car for 12 months could work out at around £101 or without an agreed value the cost would be £84. Policy benefits and discounts offered by Lancaster Insurance may vary between insurance schemes or cover selected, and are obviously subject to underwriting criteria. An additional charge may be payable.
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