To mark its 50th birthday, BMW M GmbH has a special gift for its customers and fans worldwide: the BMW 3.0 CSL. The concept and design of this exclusive special model, which was presented in the anniversary year 2022, pays tribute to the legendary “Batmobile”, the historic BMW 3.0 CSL from the early 1970s – the first standalone model from BMW M GmbH. 50 years later, in spring 2023 the exclusive reinterpretation of this classic will now be built over a period of several weeks at BMW Group Plant Dingolfing.
The location in Lower Bavaria is thus showcasing its expertise in building exclusive small series and BMW M vehicles. The BMW M4 Coupé and Convertible, the BMW M5 and the BMW M8 Coupé, Convertible and Gran Coupé already come off its production lines. Including the M Performance models, production of M vehicles reached around 50,000 units in 2022 alone.
Dingolfing Plant Director Christoph Schröder: “We are proud to be entrusted with building such an iconic car. It underlines the wide range of models and technologies we have here on-site – from fully-electric BMW i models all the way to our M high-performance models. And it shows that, in addition to highly automated large-scale production, we also excel at hand-crafting cars.”
It is precisely this combination that characterises the manufacturing process of the BMW 3.0 CSL, where the focus is on meticulous craftsmanship.
Although the body of the special model is based on the standard-production body of the BMW M4 CSL, it is being modified in a dedicated work area of the Dingolfing body shop – the same site, where the body of the BMW M4 GT4 is produced. For example, the distinctive wheel arches are being widened using special beading and welding processes and are prepared for assembly.
The body then makes its way through the paint shop’s regular standard production process. At dedicated workstations Dingolfing’s paint finishing specialists then use stencils to manually apply M’s special paintwork – the 3.0 CSL specific livery with the three M color stripes on. In parallel, special mounted parts for the vehicle, such as the front side panels and bumpers, the bonnet and the carbon-fibre roof, are given a special paint finish in the plastic exterior section of the neighbouring BMW Group component plant in Landshut.
The BMW 3.0 CSL is assembled in a craft workshop set up specifically for this purpose in Moosthenning, an external site operated by BMW Group Plant Dingolfing, close to the main Dingolfing vehicle plant. Here, the vehicle is assembled in stages from the bespoke parts of this special edition model by a team of 30 experienced experts. For example, for the BMW 3.0 CSL, axles from Dingolfing component plant 02.10 are modified on site to work with the centre lock familiar from motor racing. The special interior elements are individually crafted in workshops in Garching and Dingolfing.
All in all, the assembly process for one vehicle takes almost two weeks. There are a total of eight major assembly cycles, each with a duration of one working day. Various mounted parts, such as CFRP side panels or the CFRP bonnet, are fixed upstream. At the end of the process, the distinctive rear section and other exterior parts are assembled at a separate station.
Once work in Moosthenning is completed, the vehicle goes back to the “big” vehicle plant in Dingolfing, where it initially undergoes extensive standardised testing – for instance, on rolling test benches or brake dynamometers. Each of the BMW 3.0 CSL models then goes through an additional final inspection process with a required driving programme on the plant’s own test track.
Finally, the vehicle is prepared for the customer and for example brought to BMW Welt in Munich for a personal hand-over or delivery.