Classic BMW 3.0 CSi Receives 450-HP Tesla Powertrain, Body From CSL

2 months ago - 22 March 2022, motor1
Tesla powered BMW E9 Batmobile
Tesla powered BMW E9 Batmobile
With no engine, the most prominent sound when driving is now the tire noise.

This car started life as a beat-up BMW 3.0 CSi that sat in a leaky garage with its sunroof opening for years. Now, it has the more aggressive body of the 3.0 CSL homologation special and the powertrain from a Tesla Model S.

 From the outside, there are no clues that this BMW now has electric power. Opening the hood reveals a large battery pack occupying the spot you'd usually find a 3.0-liter inline-six engine. At the back, there's another battery pack and the Tesla-sourced electric motor.

The top versions of the 3.0 CSL made 203 horsepower (151 kilowatts). The Tesla motor gives this one 450 hp (336 kW) for a major increase in output versus the combustion engine. Reaching 60 miles per hour (96 kilometers per hour, now only takes around 3.0 seconds. The battery offers a range of around 200 miles (322 kilometers)

To cope with the extra power, there are upgraded Wilwood brakes at each corner. The car rides on multi-spoke Alpina wheels.

The water damage necessitated a complete overhaul of the cabin. The builder keeps things looking classic. The front passengers sit in low-back bucket seats. There's a whole lot of wood trim, including on the dashboard, center console, and door panels. There's a sunroof, which wouldn't be on an authentic CSL but is a nice quality-of-life upgrade on a sunny day.

Where you'd expect to hear BMW's raspy inline-six, the tire noise is now the most prominent noise of this car on the road. An updated suspension keeps it well planted on the road.

The powertrain swap causes the CSL's weight to increase slightly over a stock example. According to the video, it's roughly equivalent to driving with a passenger in the original. With the extra powertrain output, the additional pounds aren't very noticeable, the host claims.

The work to convert this CSi into a CSL and swap the powertrain took about two years. Now, it's ready to hit the road again. The engine change might annoy some purists, but at least this classic coupe is still on the road rather than slowly rotting away in a leaky garage.