Journal: This Is What It’s Like To Drive The BMW 3.0 CSL “Batmobile”

This Is What It’s Like To Drive The BMW 3.0 CSL “Batmobile”

By Ted Gushue
June 20, 2016

Photography by Ted Gushue

The first thing you notice about the “Batmobile” when you get behind the wheel is how spacious the whole car feels. Every pane of glass is colossal. The footwell is downright roomy. Back seat? Capacious, even for my derriere.

Everything about the car is oversized, most notably what has to be one of the sexiest rear wings ever made. I’ve written about my experiences with other BMWs from the era, and I’m happy to report that the transmission, just like all the others, is buttery smooth. You can get the feeling that the maestros at Alpina tuned this one up a bit as they expected you to toss it around a bit, but largely this is the same clutch and gearbox feel that you’d expect from a regular CS of the period.

The box flares on the side are gorgeous, the stance is perfect, and the wheels are impeccable. If you came here to hear me be hard on this car, you’re going to be sorely disappointed: I love everything about it.

The size and weight, and ultimately height of the BMW 3.0 CSL “Batmobile” made it possible to fishtail without much issue…which my co-pilot Timo Gerlitz put to the test immediately.

It’s fast in a respectable way; not exactly in your face, but not terribly quiet about it, either. I’d be surprised if it could beat my 3.2L-equipped Porsche 911S off the line, but the sense of speed is so much more impressive as you feel the weight of the car thrust forward.

I was expecting a bit more body roll as I whipped it around German country roads whose names I couldn’t pronounce, but it remained decently well planted. I got the sense that this is a car that I could drive every single day of the year, which I imagine is a similar feeling shared by those reading this right now. It’s a sublime machine.

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Factory car


Is this factory car or is it bodykit?