BMW returned to six-cylinder power for its top-of-the-range models in 1968 with the launch of the 2500 and 2800 saloons together with the stylish 2800 CS coupé. Designated ‘E9’, the latter was powered by the 2800 saloon’s M30 engine, though its running gear had more in common with the existing, four-cylinder 2000C/CS. The 2800 CS’s replacement by the similarly styled 3.0-litre CS in 1971 brought with it numerous improvements, including four-wheel disc brakes in place of the old disc/drum combination. With 180bhp on tap courtesy of its larger engine, the 3.0 CS was good for in excess of 130mph, with even more performance on offer from the 3.0 CSi. The latter’s Bosch D-Jetronic fuel-injected engine produced 200bhp, only a whisker below the maximum enjoyed by the lightweight CSL Group 2 ‘homologation special’, affectionately known as the ‘Batmobile’ on account of its futuristic aerodynamic body kit, developed at Stuttgart University and used from mid-1973 onwards.
Thus equipped the Batmobiles were able to defeat the previously all-conquering Ford Capri RS2600s, Toine Hezemans capturing the 1973 European Touring Car Championship for BMW at the wheel of a 3.0 CSL and co-driving one to a class win at Le Mans that year with Dieter Quester. Ford bounced back in 1974 but from 1975 onwards the BMW ‘Batmobiles’ won five consecutive European Touring Car Championships, a quite unprecedented run of success. Today these exciting and charismatic Grand Tourers enjoy an enthusiastic following and well-preserved examples are increasingly sought after.
This BMW 3.0 CSi was completed in 1972 as presented today in ‘Fjord Metallic.. An older restoration completed to the highest standard, the car is presented in beautiful condition and comes with a BMW Certificate of Authenticity confirming matching numbers.