The 1971 BMW 3.0 CSL was designed, built and sold for the sole reason of homologating the car for the Group 2 European Touring Car races. These big, six-cylinder car were built around a pillar-less chassis first developed in 1965, and were designed for pure speed. Little of the regular BMW luxury could be found inside, or outside that car. Everything was stripped down to save weight, from the acrylic, manual winding side windows to the much thinner body panels, lack of bumpers (on some versions only) and more. The interior was also a lot more basic than customers may have expected. While this did little to change the car’s top speed, which is in great part determined by aerodynamics, it did wonders for its acceleration.
The 3.0 CSL was powered by an efficient, fuel-injected (starting in 1973) straight-six engine, with a 3-liter displacement, that produced 200 horsepower. It was enough to push this relatively big car to a top speed of 133 miles an hour, and let it accelerate to 60 in 7 seconds.
Only a few – 100 of the BMW 3.0 CSL were ever built. These stripped racing cars certainly had plenty of appeal for the racetrack, where there raced for years past their retirement from production, but the civilian versions, so to speak, were a little bare.