|Engine||In-line 6-cylinder, 2985cc|
Originally launched in June 1965 as an elegantly styled pillarless coupe with a two-litre four-cylinder engine, it wasn’t until 1968 that BMW reworked the model with the Munich company’s refined and powerful SOHC straight six to created one of the finest grand tourers ever made. Codenamed E9, the CS’s Karmann-built bodywork featured revised styling with a much-improved frontal aspect and an interior expensively finished in either cloth or leather, with wood facia and leather-rimmed steering wheel. Under its svelte skin, the CS was beautifully engineered, boasting independent suspension front and rear, power-assisted steering and a four-speed gearbox with the option of a Borg Warner automatic transmission. A twin carburetor 3.0 version was announced at the 1971 Geneva Motor Show and the fuel injected CSI launched a couple of months later, joined by the legendary CSL lightweight. With 200 horsepower on tap from the smooth six-cylinder engine thanks to the latest Bosch D-Jetronic fuel injection and bigger displacement, the 3.0 CSI enjoyed a top speed of 220 km/h with acceleration to match. Other features of note included all wheel disc brakes, along with revised steering and an uprated gearbox. A relaxed long distance cruiser perfectly at home on the autobahn, BMW’s E9 coupes enjoyed plenty of success with the highly developed ‘Batmobile’ CSLs battled with Ford’s Capri for top honours in the European Touring Car Championship throughout the Seventies, winning the title no less than five times. The 3.0 CSI remained in production from 1971 until 1975, with just under 7,000 made, of which only a small number were built for right-hand drive markets. Contemporary road tests lavished praise on the new 3.0 CSI but the high price when new in Australia meant few ever reached these shores and surviving examples are now highly prized collector’s items.