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BMW 3.0 CSL E9 - Best BMW M cars

Known as 'The Batmobile' the BMW 3.0 CSL was a proper homologation special for the road

OK, so the 3.0 CSL was never formally known as an M Car, but it was the Motorsport division that campaigned and developed the legendary ‘Batmobile’ version of the regular 3.0 CS coupe. The ‘L’ in CSL stands for ‘leicht’, and the CSL road-car went on a strict racing diet with a thin steel body, aluminium doors, boot and bonnet, a distinct lack of interior trim and Perspex windows.

The result was a car you could drive on the road, but in race trim won the European Touring Car Championship four years on the trot. The final version in 1973 had huge wings and an airdam, and the car has been known as the ‘Batmobile’ ever since.

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Production: 1,265 (1971-1975)
Engine: 3.0/3.2-litre, six-cylinder
BHP: 197-203bhp
0-60: 7.4 seconds
Max speed: 138mph

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Current affairs and features editor

Chris covers all aspects of motoring life for Auto Express. Over a long career he has contributed news and car reviews to brands such as Autocar, WhatCar?, PistonHeads, Goodwood and The Motor Trader.

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