Back in 2015, BMW hinted at a revival of one of its most iconic sports cars ever with the 3.0 CSL Hommage R concept. It was a muscular modern interpretation of the 3.0 CSL homologation special built in small quantities in the 1970s, which earned the nickname “the Rolls-Royce Of Motor Cars” by some fans and critics alike.
While this vehicle came to life around 2010, it did not reach production until 2018, although there have been several more examples since then, including an example that has not yet seen public display.
BMW had already begun testing the successor to the iconic model for almost a year, using it on track circuits at Porsche Motorsport Park in Munich and as part of regular test runs on test tracks around Germany. But it didn’t come out as planned. BMW’s engineers discovered that while the engine and chassis were both well tuned for the sporty 3.0 CSL, they did not share the same gear ratios as the original design, resulting in insufficient torque for daily driving.
They also noticed how quickly the car struggled under braking on steep, straight roads. Since 2009 many improvements have been made, but these are only minor changes to make up for what is lost from the base model. To address those problems, BMW has developed revised mechanical specifications, and they are now being implemented on two examples: 300i M Sport Coupe and 430e Gran E-Hybrid coupe, which debuted earlier this month.
The new specification uses revised torque mapping ratios, a tweaked intake manifold and revised gear ratio, as well as additional cooling system measures including a larger fan. These revisions give much more power than before but maintain the same all-wheel drive handling characteristics of the original, making it look like the 2.0-liter four-cylinder makes its return to BMW’s hallowed racing heritage.
The automaker also announced plans for further refinement of the existing 430e Gran E-Hybrid, which will be based on the latest i-Drive System. This upgrade is very similar to the recent 330i GTS in that the latter offers upgraded aerodynamics while maintaining its proven drivetrain, resulting in a lower fuel consumption and range. Together with the updated 430e Gran Electric plug-in hybrid, the current 430e Gran Electric will add over 500 horsepower and 800 lb.-ft.
to the combined output of the GT Sport Plus battery system. Although each variant will feature unique styling cues, they are expected to carry the namesplate from their predecessors and include standard equipment including automatic transmission, paddle shifters and alloy wheels. In addition, the 4.5T-series electric motor produced on the 430e Gran EV is identical to the Mercedes-AMG e-Hybrid with 120kW and 450Nm power outputs, though the latter features a smaller 8.0-liter V8 paired with a variable turbocharger that can deliver greater performance with fewer RPM.
An important update to the 430e Gran Electric is the introduction of a new version called S, which replaces its 6-speed manual transmission. Because BMW already offers only six-speed manual models with a high-quality 7-speed dual clutch setup, no changes are required here. However, owners who want even more control of their engine’s movement in rev-matching mode can select between S and T variants.
For instance, tachometer readers located behind the steering wheel indicate the maximum speed that a driver can attempt for any given rpm, while electronic throttle assist (which acts as the brake pedal) indicates when it should activate to avoid a loss of time. Both versions of the 430e Gran Electric can be ordered with rear or front-wheel drive, as well as being available without automatic transmission.