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MONTEREY LIVE: BMW 3.0 CSL Hommage R concept

The 3.0 CSL Hommage R concept celebrates BMW USA\'s 40th anniversary.

BMW is displaying an updated version of the retro-inspired 3.0 CSL Hommage concept at this year's Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance.

The new concept is called 3.0 CSL Hommage R and, as its name implies, it's essentially a racing version of the 3.0 CSL concept that was shown last spring at the Villa d'Este Concours d'Elegance. It was designed as a tribute to the original 3.0 CSL that tore up race tracks during the 1975 IMSA season, and to celebrate BMW USA's 40th anniversary.

The coupe gets new kidney grilles with sporty-looking mesh inserts, an eye-catching white paint job accented by BMW Motorsport's signature stripes, new 21-inch alloy wheels and a more aggressive-looking air diffuser out back. Like the 1975 model, the concept wears stripes that read "Bavarian Motor Works" on both wind screens.

BMW has teamed up with Puma to design a state-of-the-art racing suit that transfers vital information about the car from the rectangular steering wheel to a heads-up display built into the helmet's visor. The system only works if the driver has both hands on the wheel. Carbon fiber bucket seats strike an ideal balance between support and comfort, and a carbon fiber roll cage built into the roof panel protects the occupants in the event of a rollover.

The cockpit is designed around the driver and all equipment deemed superfluous has been left out. Twin air vents blow fresh air at ambient temperature, while a cross-member designed to look like a piece of wood trim provides useful information such as a map of the track the car is racing on and the braking points. The cross-member harks back to the original CSL, which retained a luxed-up strip of wood trim on the dash throughout most of the 1975 season.

Surprisingly, BMW hasn't revealed what the concept is powered by.

Like the first 3.0 CSL Hommage concept, the 3.0 CSL Hommage R will remain a one-off design study that will not see the light that awaits at the end of a production line. However, the current 6 Series is a direct descendant of the CSL, so it's not too far-fetched to imagine the concept's design could influence the next-gen 6 that is scheduled to debut before the end of the decade.

In Pebble Beach, the 3.0 CSL Hommage R is sharing the spotlight with the Concept M4 GTS, a race-inspired version of the M4 that's fitted with an innovative water-injection system.

Live images by Ben Hsu.

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