The Celebration of 50 Years of M Continues at Monterey Car Week.
- First public event appearance of the 2023 M4 CSL at Legends of the Autobahn
- Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion celebrating 100th Anniversary of 24 Hours of Le Mans with four classic BMW race cars
- First-ever Corkscrew Hillclimb Shoot-Out at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca
- Special appearance by the 2020 Daytona-winning M8 GTLM race car, available for sale
Monterey, CA – August 9, 2022…BMW’s year-long celebration of 50 years of M roars into the California Central Coast for Monterey Car Week 2022. Throughout the week, BMW will showcase a selection of the newest releases from BMW M including the highly anticipated, limited production M4 CSL and the new 2023 M8 Competition coupe, convertible, and Gran Coupe. Also on hand will be a collection of some of M’s greatest hits through the decades, from the fabled 1973 3.0 CSL to the 493-hp 2016 M4 GTS, connecting the past to the present.
The new BMW M4 CSL fuses old-school racing passion with innovative technology to create a singular performance experience. Its unique character springs from two central mission statements: lighten up, power up. An increase of 40 hp over the current BMW M4 Competition to 543 hp and a 240-pound weight reduction conspire with genuine Motorsport chassis DNA, and the results speak for themselves. At the Nürburgring’s Nordschleife circuit, which represents the ultimate yardstick for agility and handling precision for all BMW M cars, the M4 CSL posted a lap time of 7:20.2, the fastest time ever for a series-production BMW. Global production of the M4 CSL began in July and is limited to just 1,000 units, with a US base price of $139,900 plus $995 destination and handling. The BMW M4 CSL will make its public debut at Legends of the Autobahn on Thursday, August 18, at Pacific Grove Golf Links in Pacific Grove, CA. The new M4 CSL can also be seen in action at the Rolex Monterey Motorsport Reunion Hillclimb event on Sunday, August 21st.
For the 2023 model year, the ferocious BMW M8 received subtle but meaningful enhancements. Now available exclusively in 617-hp Competition specification, the M8 coupe, convertible, and Gran Coupe receive new double-bar kidney grilles, new, larger, 12.3-inch central control display screens, and new colors and trims inside and out, including track-ready optional M Carbon bucket seats. The 2023 BMW M8 Competition is on sale now. Base price for the coupe and Gran Coupe is $134,100 plus $995 destination and handling. The M8 Competition Gran convertible starts at $143,700 plus $995 destination and handling.
Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca
Spectators at the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion will witness a celebration of 100years of the 24 Hours of Le Mans. On track will be an extraordinary collection of classic racing cars, all of which have turned a wheel in anger at the storied Circuit de la Sarthe since 1923.
Representing BMW in Group 8 (1972-1982) will be the 1975 3.0 CSL IMSA Group 4 ‘Batmobile’ that marked the beginnings of BMW Motorsport. The 3.0 CSL was conceived as the first homologation special designed for the newly formed BMW Motorsport GmbH factory racing effort under the leadership of team manager Jochen Neerpasch. While it did not carry an M badge, it is generally considered to be the first BMW M product and raced with the now iconic M tricolor stripe motif. The 3.0 CSL was a force in European Touring Car Championship racing throughout the 1970s, scoring six titles between 1973 and 1979, and in international endurance racing with overall wins at the 12 Hours of Sebring and 24 Hours of Daytona, and three class wins at the 24 Hours of Le Mans (1973, 1974, and 1977).
Also racing in Group 8 will be the 1981 IMSA M1 Group 4. The BMW M1 was conceived when M boss Jochen Neerpasch announced his intention to take on archrival Porsche in Group 5 sports car racing with a vehicle designed specifically for competition. The M1 made its first appearance at Le Mans in 1979. The car driven in that race had been given a striking paint finish by American visual artist Andy Warhol immediately before the race was to begin, applying the number 76 literally minutes before the start. Drivers Herve Poulain, Marcel Mignot, and Manfred Winkelhock finished sixth in a rain-soaked effort that would be the M1’s best finish at Le Mans. The M1 racing at the Reunion this year was campaigned in the 1981 IMSA GTO Series, seeing action at the 24 Hours of Daytona, Watkins Glen, and Mosport.
In Group 10 (1981-2005 Le Mans Prototypes), fans will be treated to the unmistakable shriek of a pair BMW racing V12s. In 1994, the McLaren F1 was the fastest and most expensive production road vehicle the world had ever seen. Designer Gordon Murray had turned to BMW to develop a motor worthy of his creation, and BMW Motorsport responded with a 6.0-liter V12 developing over 630 hp. The racing version, the F1 GTR, was not that different from the road car. Changes to the body amounted to additional air intakes and a large, adjustable rear wing. The interior was stripped, and a competition roll cage was added. The mighty BMW 6.0-liter V12 actually had to be restricted to 592 hp in racing trim, and the road car’s gearbox was even retained. The results were staggering. An F1 GTR claimed outright victory at the 1995 running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans as well as taking third, fourth, and fifth. The GTR featured at the Reunion this year (Chassis 17R) was driven by Nelson Piquet, Danny Sullivan, and Johnny Cecotto in the 1996 campaign and finished eighth overall.
Jointly developed with Formula 1 partner Williams F1, the BMW V12 LMR was built to challenge the field at the 1999 24 Hours of Le Mans. The LMR on the track at this year’s Reunion debuted at the 12 Hours of Sebring in March of 1999. Piloted by Tom Kristensen, JJ Lehto, and Jorg Muller, the car won the race by the narrowest margin in the race’s history at the time – a mere 9.2 seconds separating first and second. The victory at Sebring provided motivation when the team arrived at the 24 Hours of Le Mans later that year. The V12 LMR of Yannick Dalmas, Pierluigi Martini, and Joachim Winkelhock drove to the front of the field and gave BMW its first overall victory at Le Mans. This vehicle is the first racing car since 1987 to win Sebring and Le Mans in the same year.
At the conclusion of the Reunion on Sunday, BMW will participate in the first-ever Corkscrew Hillclimb. Racers will line up at the traditional start/finish line but race counter-course, ascending the iconic ‘Corkscrew’ turns and finishing at the top. Abundant viewing space means attendees will have a spectacular vantage from which to see and hear the BMW V12 LMR, 3.0 CSL Group 4, and 2023 M4 CSL as never before.
BMW M Motorsport has a very special opportunity for automotive enthusiasts in celebration of its 50th anniversary. In conjunction with BMW of North America, LLC, the rare decision has been made to offer the 2020 Rolex 24 At Daytona GTLM class-winning No. 24 BMW M8 GTE for sale to a fortunate collector. The BMW M8 GTE Chassis Number 1809 will be on display in the BMWUSA Classic paddock area during the Rolex Monterey Motorsport Reunion.
BMW has a proud history of preserving and exhibiting its rich collection of historic racing cars such as those running at the Rolex Reunion. It is extremely rare that BMW would sell one of its factory race cars. The BMW M8 GTE represents the pinnacle of factory GT race car engineering. It is truly a technical masterpiece. The new owner of BMW M8 GTE No. 1809 will be the steward of a very important piece of BMW history in America.
Legends of the Autobahn
On Thursday, August 18, the BMW Car Club of America will descend on the gorgeous Pacific Grove Golf Links for Legends of the Autobahn. Over 300 classic and modern BMWs are expected to be on exhibit, and BMW will be there with a display highlighting the vehicles taking BMW M into the next generation: the scintillating M4 CSL, the powerful M8 Competition coupe, and the purely electric i4 M50 and iX M60.
Also on view will be the 1973 3.0 CSL road car. Introduced in April of 1971, the 3.0 CSL provided BMW M with a homologation special with which to go racing. “L” in this case meant “Leicht”, or “Lightweight”. Almost every component of the 3.0 CS foundation vehicle was weighed and measured and, wherever possible, replaced with a lighter version. The doors, trunk lid, and hood were made of aluminum. The roof, the partition between the interior and trunk, and the wheelwells were all made of thinner steel. The rear and side windows were Perspex. Even the hood supports were replaced with thin rods. In the end, engineers saved about 440 lbs. In 1973, the 3.0 CSL was powered by a 3.2-liter inline-6 making 206 hp, which meant a power-to-weight ratio of 13.6 lbs/hp – remarkable for a road vehicle at the time. Only 167 3.0 CSL road cars left the factory between 1973 and 1975.