Racing cars

The eight best BMW racing cars of all time (List)

3.0-liter BMW CSL Batmobile – 1973

For many, the “Batmobile” evokes the blacked-out 1955 Ford Lincoln Futura or the low, angular concept of the most recent superhero movie. But for BMW racing fans, it has a whole new meaning. Perhaps one of the finest BMW racing cars (apart from the M1), the 3.0-liter CSL “Batmobile” proved to be an unstoppable force in touring car racing in the 1970s. .

Derived from the road E9, the Batmobile 3.0 CSL featured a spoiler under its angular ‘shark’ nose, strakes at the top of the hood and a wide rear spoiler, a body kit that would have added a whopping 90kg of downforce at 124 mph. Unsurprisingly, when you look at it, the aerodynamic effects also made comparisons to the DC cartoon car of the same name.

1,039 homologation models were produced between 1973 and 1975 in order to obtain certification for BMW competition cars, each powered by an in-line six, making 209 hp (206 hp) and 286 Nm (211 lb ft).

The weight savings were achieved by thinner steel in the monocoque, as well as an aluminum hood and trunk (the latter reverted to steel when the rear spoiler was added). Luxuries such as carpet, power steering, power windows and sound deadening materials have been removed, allowing the 1,270kg car to reach 0-60mph in 6.8 seconds and a top speed of 136mph .

While the homologation models themselves were impressively contested, BMW competition cars, which produced over 300bhp, enjoyed brilliant success in touring races, especially in the European Touring Car Championship. and the Deutsche Rennsport Meisterschaft. In 1973 and 1974, the Batmobiles won the special touring category at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, before winning the European Touring Car Championship each year from 1973 to 1979, with the exception of 1974.

Across the pond, the 3.0 CSL competed in the 1975 IMSA GT Championship, with Sam Posey, Brian Redman and Ronnie Peterson winning races during the season. Meanwhile, the Group 5 3.5 CSL won three races in the 1976 World Brand Championship.


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