Happy 50th birthday to the BMW 3.0 CSL
It’s 50 years since BMW unveiled the legendary 3.0 CSL. An icon in the world of automobiles and also a model that marks a milestone in the collaboration between BMW and ALPINA. A glimpse into the history of this fascinating automobile.
Heavyweight champion: the BMW ALPINA 2800 CS
The predecessor model, the BMW 2800 CS, was unveiled by BMW in 1968 and remains a style icon to this day. ALPINA boosted the power output to 250 PS, and by 1969 was sending the model out onto Europe’s race tracks. But the BMW 2800 CS was less of a genuine sports car, and more of a sportive Gran Turismo.
Even though the 1970 racing season was extremely successful for ALPINA with the 2800 CS (read the interview with Günther Huber on this season here), one thing was clear to ALPINA founder Burkard Bovensiepen and the former co-director Gert Hack: to stay competitive against race cars like the Ford Capri and the Opel Commodore, the BMW 2800 CS needed to lose some serious weight. After all, it was competing against race cars that were 300 kg lighter. The “heavyweight champion” needed to shed some weight in order to continue its successful career in touring car racing.