Bare-bones rac­ing Beemer

The in­te­rior de­sign started with the driver’s hel­met race suit and seat, not the dash­board

The Witness - Wheels - - MOTORING - — Supplied.

MU­NICH/Peb­ble Beach — The BMW Group has come up with some­thing spe­cial for the Con­cours d’El­e­gance at Peb­ble Beach, launch­ing the BMW 3.0 CSL Hom­mage R to celebrate the BMW 3.0 CSL in 1975.

That was the year the Bavar­ian man­u­fac­turer won the 12-hour race at Se­bring, fol­low­ing the his­toric win with a suc­ces­sion of vic­to­ries, in­clud­ing one at La­guna Seca near Peb­ble Beach.

BMW’s rookie year duly cul­mi­nated in the white BMW 3.0 CSL, decked out in eye-catch­ing BMW Motorsport livery, win­ning the man­u­fac­tur­ers’ cham­pi­onship at first at­tempt. This suc­cess, cou­pled with the car’s strik­ing de­sign and the “Bavar­ian Mo­tor Works” leg­end em­bla­zoned across the wind­screen and rear win­dow, an­nounced the BMW brand’s ar­rival in North Amer­ica with a bang.

“Mo­tor rac­ing is all about the abil­ity of cars to mes­merise, about the un­bri­dled joy of driv­ing,” says Adrian van Hooy­donk, se­nior vice pres­i­dent BMW Group De­sign.

“And as such, it rep­re­sents the heart­beat of BMW. Back in 1975, as to­day, win­ning races came down to how man and ma­chine could work to­gether. Tech­ni­cal in­no­va­tions have taken the ef­fec­tive­ness of this part­ner­ship to ever great heights. And with the BMW 3.0 CSL Hom­mage R we’re aim­ing to show how much closer the driver and car can grow in the fu­ture.” A new level of driver fo­cus The in­te­rior de­sign of the BMW 3.0 CSL Hom­mage R did not start with the dash­board, but the driver’s hel­met, race suit and seat, be­fore mov­ing onto the lines and sur­faces of the in­te­rior. As the layer of in­ter­ac­tion clos­est to the driver, the hel­met vi­sor as­sumes the func­tions of a dis­play and projects in­for­ma­tion such as the car’s speed, gear en­gaged and en­gine revs, into the driver’s di­rect field of view.

The idea of the Head-Up Dis­play is there­fore ex­pressed in a whole new way. “Eyes on the road, hands on the wheel” is the name of the game, en­abling the driver to con­cen­trate fully on the job of driv­ing the car.

As well as help­ing the driver to do his or her job, the driver’s race suit by Puma vis­ually ex­presses the con­nec­tion be­tween the driver and the car.

If both the driver’s hands are on the steer­ing wheel, il­lu­mi­nated pip­ing in­te­grated into the sleeves of the suit shows the progress of in­for­ma­tion — from the shift im­pulse dis­play, for ex­am­ple — out of the steer­ing col­umn over the driver’s arms and into the vi­sor.

The side-sec­tion de­sign of the large car­bon-fi­bre seat shells re­flects the anatomy of the seated driver, thus pro­vid­ing max­i­mum sup­port in any driv­ing sit­u­a­tion.

At the same time, the seats en­sure the driver’s body has the best pos­si­ble con­nec­tion with the car, giv­ing him or her a phys­i­cal feel for it along al­most the whole body, thus al­low­ing for faster re­ac­tions.

The seat shells fol­low a ris­ing di­ag­o­nal path to the rear, a line ex­tended be­hind the seats into the rear by a struc­tural car­bon-fi­bre el­e­ment that in­creases the tor­sional rigid­ity of the BMW 3.0 CSL Hom­mage R.

The only “com­fort” func­tion are the two vents on the sides of the steer­ing col­umn, which sup­ply the driver with fresh air at am­bi­ent tem­per­a­ture.

Only what is needed

All the other el­e­ments in the in­te­rior are there out of ne­ces­sity. A car­bon-fi­bre roll cage in­te­grates with the roof struc­ture and side sec­tions that are al­most en­tirely from car­bon fi­bre. The only wood-like pres­ence is the “in­stru­ment panel”, which is a cross­mem­ber and struc­tural el­e­ment. This is a ref­er­ence to a cen­tral el­e­ment of the ear­lier BMW 3.0 CSL, in which even the rac­ing ver­sion had dis­tinc­tive wood trim ring­ing the whole of the in­te­rior. A high­light here is the ad­di­tional in­for­ma­tion il­lu­mi­nated through the wood. Re­call­ing the BMW 3.0 CSL’s vic­tory at La­guna Seca in 1975, the BMW 3.0 CSL Hom­mage R dis­plays the track lay­out and brak­ing points through the in­stru­ment panel’s wood strip.

By us­ing light in this way, this ul­tra-so­phis­ti­cated, su­per-smooth in­for­ma­tion dis­play re­moves the need for a clas­si­cal dis­play and slips per­fectly into the car’s min­i­mal­ist in­te­rior de­sign phi­los­o­phy.

Only the small cen­tral eBoost charg­ing dis­play in­ter­rupts the flow of the oth­er­wise un­bro­ken wooden sur­face. A small dis­play on the steer­ing col­umn pro­vides the driver with sec­ondary in­for­ma­tion such as lap time, over­all race time and the car’s cur­rent track po­si­tion.

Other rac­ing el­e­ments in the in­te­rior in­clude red an­odised safety fea­tures, such as the out­let noz­zles for the fire-ex­tin­guish­ing foam, the ex­tin­guisher it­self, and the two switches on the cen­tre con­sole for the emer­gency shut-off and fire ex­tin­guish­ing mech­a­nism. The rear has space only for two hel­mets in­te­grated into the cen­tre tun­nel. These are held in place by a belt when not in use. Un­der­neath the lon­gi­tu­di­nal braces jut­ting out to the rear are the cov­ers for the eBoost energy ac­cu­mu­la­tors.

Out­side rooted in rac­ing

Ev­ery de­tail of the Hom­mage car has its ori­gins in the suc­cess­ful rac­ing ma­chine from 1975, but all have been up­dated and in­te­grated tech­ni­cally into a mod­ern de­sign lan­guage.

Laser light­ing and LED tech­nol­ogy en­able slim light graph­ics. From the side, the front apron and kid­ney grille present a mod­ern take on the shar­knose de­sign, en­sur­ing the car will be easily recog­nis­able.


The BMW 3.0 CSL Hom­mage R pays trib­ute to the 1975 BMW 3.0 CSL (on the left).

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