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"BMW CSL" redirects here. For BMW M3 CSL, see BMW M3 § M3 CSL.
Manufacturer BMW (coachbuilt by Karmann)
Also called New Six Coupé
Production 1968-1975
Body and chassis
Class Grand tourer
Layout FR layout
Body style(s) Coupé
Vehicles BMW 2800CS
BMW 3.0CS, BMW 3.0CSi
Related 2000C, 2000CS, E3 platform
Engine(s) Straight-six SOHC engine
2.5 L twin carb (2.5CS)
2.8 L twin carb (2800CS)
3.0 L twin carb (3.0CS, early 3.0CSL)
3.0 L fuel injection (3.0CSi, later 3.0CSL)
3.2 L fuel injection (3.0CSL, final version)
Transmission(s) 4 speed manual, 3 speed automatic
Wheelbase 2,624 mm (103.3 in)
Length 4,660 mm (183 in)
Width 1,670 mm (66 in)
Height 1,370 mm (54 in)
Curb weight 1,420 kg (3,131 lb)
Predecessor BMW 2000C, BMW 2000CS
Successor BMW 6 Series (E24)

The BMW New Six CS (internal name BMW E9) was a two-door coupé built for BMW by Karmann from 1968 to 1975. It was developed from the New Class-based BMW 2000CS coupé, which was enlarged to hold the BMW M30 straight-6 engine used in the E3 sedan.

The E9 platform, especially the 3.0CSL homologation special, was very successful in racing, especially in European Touring Car Championship and the Deutsche Rennsport Meisterschaft. This helped to establish BMW's status as a sporty driver's car.

Origin: 2000C and 2000CS[edit]

Main article: BMW New Class coupé
BMW 2000CS, from which the E9 platform was developed

The BMW 2000C and 2000CS were introduced In 1965. Based on the New Class, the 2000C and CS were Karmann-built coupés featuring the then-new two litre version of the M10 engine.[1] The 2000C had a single carburettor engine that produced 100 horsepower (75 kW), and was available with either manual or automatic transmission, while the 2000CS had a two carburettor engine that produced 120 horsepower (89 kW) and was available only with a manual transmission.[1][2]


BMW 2800CS

The first of the E9 coupés, the 2800CS, replaced the 2000C and 2000CS in 1968. The wheelbase and length were increased to allow the engine bay to be long enough to accommodate the new straight-six engine code-named M30, and the front of the car was restyled to resemble the E3 sedan.[3] The rear axle, however, remained the same as that used in the lesser "Neue Klasse" models and the rear brakes were initially drums - meaning that the 2800 saloon was a better performing car, as it was also lighter. The CS' advantages were thus strictly optical to begin with.[4] The 2800CS used the 2,788 cc (170.1 cu in) version of the engine used in the E3 sedans.[3] The engine produced 170 horsepower (130 kW) at 6000 revolutions per minute.[5]

Not only was the 2800CS lighter than the preceding 2000CS, it also had a smaller frontal aspect, further increasing the performance advantage.[6]

3.0CS and variants[edit]

BMW 3.0CS Interior with Alpina elements.

The 2800CS was replaced by the 3.0CS and 3.0CSi in 1971. The engine had been bored out to give a displacement of 2,986 cc (182.2 cu in), and was offered with a 9.0:1 compression ratio, twin carburettors, and 180 horsepower (130 kW) at 6000 revolutions per minute in the 3.0CS or a 9.5:1 compression ratio, Bosch D-Jetronic fuel injection, and 200 horsepower (150 kW) at 5500 revolutions per minute in the 3.0CSi.[3]


1973 BMW 3.0CSL

Introduced in May 1972,[7] the 3.0CSL was a homologation special built to make the car eligible for racing in the European Touring Car Championship. The "L" in the designation meant leicht (light), unlike in other BMW designations, where it meant lang (long). The lightness was achieved by using thinner steel to build the unit body, deleting the trim and soundproofing,[8] using aluminium alloy doors, bonnets, and boot lids, and using Perspex side windows.[7] The five hundred 3.0CSLs exported to the United Kingdom were not quite as light as the others, as the importer had insisted on retaining the soundproofing, electric windows, and stock E9 bumpers on these cars.[7][9]

Initially using the same engine as the 3.0CS,[10] the 3.0CSL was given a very small increase in displacement to 3,003 cc (183.3 cu in) by increasing the engine bore by one quarter of a millimetre.[7][10] This was done in August 1972 to allow the CSL to be raced in the "over three litre" racing category, allowing for some increase in displacement in the racing cars.[7] In 1973,[8][11] the engine in the 3.0CSL was given another, more substantial increase in displacement to 3,153 cc (192.4 cu in) by increasing the stroke to 84 mm (3.3 in).[10][11] This final version of the 3.0CSL 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.[12] The rear wings were not installed at the factory, but were left in the boot for installation after purchase. This was done because the wings were illegal for use on German roads. The full aero package earned the racing CSLs the nickname "Batmobile".[8][13][14]

Chris Amon, Winner of 6 Hours Race 1973 at Nürburgring with BMW 3.0 CSL

In 1973, Toine Hezemans won the European Touring Car Championship in a 3.0CSL and co-drove a 3.0CSL with Dieter Quester to a class victory at Le Mans. Hezemans and Quester had driven to second place at the 1973 German Touring Car Grand Prix at Nürburgring, being beaten only by Chris Amon and Hans-Joachim Stuck in another 3.0CSL.[15] 3.0 CSLs would win the European Touring Car Championship again in every year from 1975 to 1979.[16][17]

The 3.0CSL was raced in the IMSA GT Championship in 1975, with Sam Posey, Brian Redman, and Ronnie Peterson winning races during the season.[15]

The first two BMW Art Cars were 3.0CSLs; the first was painted by Alexander Calder and the second by Frank Stella.[18]

The 3.5CSL was built for Group 5 racing and BMW won three races in the 1976 World Championship for Makes with this model.

BMW 3.0CSL Art Cars
Art Car No. 1, by Alexander Calder
First BMW Art Car, a 3.0CSL painted by Alexander Calder
Art Car No. 2, by Frank Stella
Second BMW Art Car, a 3.0CSL painted by Frank Stella


The last version of the E9 to be introduced was the 2.5CS in 1974. This was a response to the 1973 oil crisis, such that the buyer could choose the smaller, more economical engine.[19] The engine, from the 2500 sedan, displaced 2,494 cc (152.2 cu in) and produced 150 horsepower (110 kW) at 6000 revolutions per minute.[5] Only 874 were made until the end of E9 production in 1975, and none were exported to the United States.[19]

Production Numbers[edit]

Production Numbers for BMW E9 by model and year[20]
Model/Year 1968 1969 1970 1971 1972 1973 1974 1975 Total
2800 CS 138 2534 3335 276 6283
2800 CSA 787 1089 73 1949
3.0 CS 1974 1172 779 267 263 4455
3.0 CSA 520 1215 1169 355 408 3667
3.0 CSi 1061 2999 2741 579 555 7935
3.0 CSiA 2 2
3.0 CSi RHD 66 128 13 207
3.0 CSiA RHD 69 139 7 215
3.0 CSL 169 252 287 40 17 765
3.0 CSL RHD 349 151 500
2.5 CS 272 328 600
2.5 CSA 101 143 244
2800 CS USA 43 415 183 641
2800 CSA USA 36 403 87 526
3.0 CS USA 132 411 450 375 1368
3.0 CSA USA 60 377 314 438 1189
Total E9 Production 138 3400 5242 4535 6777 6026 2694 1734 30,546

2015 3.0 CSL Hommage[edit]

In 2015 BMW introduced the 3.0 CSL Hommage concept car at Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este. The car is a tribute to the 3.0 CSL. It has an inline-six engine with an eBoost hybrid system in the rear of the car. As a homage to the original, the 3.0 CSL Hommage has a minimal interior to keep the weight as low as possible; carbon fiber and aluminium are used in the cockpit for the same reason. The Hommage has Laser-LED lights similar to those in the i8.[21]


  1. ^ a b Noakes 2005, pp. 66–67.
  2. ^ Norbye 1984, p. 141.
  3. ^ a b c Norbye 1984, p. 168.
  4. ^ Becker 1971, p. 76.
  5. ^ a b Norbye 1984, p. 167.
  6. ^ Becker 1971, p. 74.
  7. ^ a b c d e Noakes 2005, p. 85.
  8. ^ a b c Vaughan 2011.
  9. ^ Donaldson.
  10. ^ a b c Norbye 1984, p. 171.
  11. ^ a b Noakes 2005, p. 86.
  12. ^ Noakes 2005, p. 89.
  13. ^ Severson 2008.
  14. ^ Noakes 2005, p. 93.
  15. ^ a b Norbye 1984, p. 180.
  16. ^ de Jong 2009.
  17. ^ de Jong 2009b.
  18. ^ Preece 2009.
  19. ^ a b Norbye 1984, p. 170.
  20. ^ "E9 Production by Year". Retrieved 2012-02-24. 
  21. ^ "BMW 3.0 CSL Hommage presta tributo a lenda de 1972". Retrieved 2015-05-25. 


External links[edit]