September 03, 2020 2 min read
The E9 invented two of the things that petrolheads most love about BMWs, the M division and the no-compromise-track-focused CSL badge.
Couple that with Jager's iconic and irreverent racing livery and we can't help but be inspired to pay tribute to the charismatic 3.0 CSL, the Bavarian "Batmobile".
BMW first awakened to the racing potential of the E9 in 1969 with the help of German auto tuner Alpina, proving a heavy and nearly stock 2800 CS to be surprisingly track-worthy in the European Touring scene, a notion confirmed further by Scnhitzer's win against the revered Ford Capri in 1971.
By this time BMW was determined to get in on the action and launched a special Motorsport division with the sole intention of building 1000 lightweight units to homologate the 3.0 CSL for Group 2 of the European Touring Car Championship, a wing to be headed by Jochen Neerspach, none other than the architect of the Capri's track success.
The final homologation version, the 3.2, earned it its "Batmobile" nickname due to the massive rear wing part of the improved aero package - it actually didn't even come installed on account of it being illegal in German roads and was just "forgetfully" left on the trunk when it was delivered to customers.
In one sweep two of the most famous acronyms in the auto industry were forged, propelling further BMW's status as a sports car maker and creating a dynasty of lightweight coupés that time and again proven to be serious track weapons - the CSL badge now gone, but with a predictable comeback always around the corner.
The CSL went on to win consecutive European Touring Championships and even a class victory at the 1973s Le Mans and the Alpina Jägermeister coupé was famously driven by Niki Lauda in 1973, the last year before he started his F1 career.
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