Technical innovation does not happen all at once. Engineering teams have to try things out first and sometimes that means creating prototypes that don’t make it to production but are profoundly cool nonetheless.
BMW has decided to open its secret garage and show off some of the unique prototypes that have been used to aid the process of building new cars that would deserve to bear the CSL name.
In the first episode of the series, filmed by the BMW M Video Team, Head of Vehicle Prototyping, Manufacturing Concept and Integration Hans Rahn gives us a look at three very special and very unique.
Also read: Watch the new M4 CSL become the fastest BMW on the Nürburgring
The first is an E46 M3 CSL prototype that is almost identical to the production car from the rear doors. An extra air intake up front might alert BMW enthusiasts that something special is lurking under the hood. Indeed, the car benefits from a 4.0-litre V8 that produces 424 PS (316 kW/430 hp) and sounds good enough to turn even the straightest German engineer into a happily spinning hooligan needlessly.
The second concept is an E60 M5 CSL prototype. It featured BMW’s unmistakable V10 engine, although it was tuned to displace 5.7 liters (instead of 5.0 litres) and was capable of revving up to 9,000 rpm, making it even closer to a racing car than the normal car. All this allowed it to develop 621 PS (463 kW/630 PS), which was 121 PS (90 kW/122 PS) more than the standard car, which was routed to the rear wheels via a dual-clutch transmission. Light-saving measures such as the carbon-fiber roof helped it become a true CSL.
The final prototype is an E63 M6 CSL also powered by a V10, albeit a 5.0-liter developing 500 PS (373 kW/507 hp). Its real party trick, however, was its clever aerodynamics. The very first BMW to feature Doppelsteg side mirrors, it also sports an active wing at the rear to really keep the car planted at speed.
With several other prototypes to browse, including an F87 M2 CSL prototypeit really is a series not to be missed for fans of the Bavarian marque and high performance cars in general.