Bare-bones racing Beemer
The interior design started with the driver’s helmet race suit and seat, not the dashboard
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).