BMW paid homage to one of its greatest race cars by building this gorgeous concept

In 1975, BMW arrived on American shores and immediately went racing in the ultra-competitive IMSA racing series. They didn’t just compete, they won. Early and often. The car responsible for this incredible turn of performance is the BMW 3.0 CSL. In just its the first year of IMSA competition, the 3.0 CSL took home the 1975 constructors championship for the German automaker.

To commemorate its stellar rookie season and 40 years of selling cars in the US, BMW has unveiled a modern interpretation of the legendary racer — the aptly-named 3.0 CSL Hommage R.

“Motor racing is all about the ability of cars to mesmerize, about the unbridled joy of driving,”BMW Group Design senior vice president Adrian van Hooydonk said in a statement. “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,” van Hooydonk said. “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.”

The BMW 3.0 CSL Hommage R is -- you guessed it -- an homage to the original 3.0 CSL from the 1970s.

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The exterior design of the Hommage strikes a balance between conveying the spirit of 1970s racing royalty and modern aerodynamics.

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'All the details from the BMW 3.0 CSL are present in the Hommage model,' BMW design chief Karim Habib said in a statement. 'And they are all there to be discovered in their original form. It's a bow to the 1975 car.'

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And the family resemblance is strong.

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Really strong.

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Just checkout the signature BMW kidney front grille.

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The Hommage even has the #25 decals from the original car.

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Although the new car doesn't look exactly like the 'batmobile' -- as some have dubbed the original 3.0 CSL -- the Hommage still manages to convey an imposing figure.

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Modern touches on the Hommage include laser lighting in front, and....

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... LEDs in back.

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Like the original, the Hommage is designed to convey a raw, race-ready driving experience. As a result, there are few luxuries to be found.

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Step inside and you'll find a very modern, but basic cabin that's geared more towards function than form.

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Instead of a standard steering wheel, the Hommage gets an F1-style control yolk. Drivers will also have a futuristic head-up display.

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The Hommage's seats are built within a set of carbon fibre shells.

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Although BMW hasn't confirmed an engine for the Hommage, it's likely the BMW M4's potent 3.0 twin-turbocharged inline-6-cylinder engine is lurking under the hood.

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Having recently spent a few hundred miles behind the wheel of an M4, we can attest to the powertrain's prodigious performance.

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Thus far, the 3.0 CSL Hommage R is just a concept car. However, there's no doubt the car is worthy of production status. Even if it doesn't make it to full production, let hope at least some of the design language finds its way into future BMWs.

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