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BMW’s 3.0 CSL Hommage R Concept scrubs the ugly off and sports a new paint job

When BMW introduced its 3.0 CSL Hommage Concept Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este, it was met with a mixed reaction. From some angles, the design was aggressive and sleek, and from others, it looked like BMW has taken inspiration from a rodent.

The German automaker seems ready to redeem itself though, as it has introduced the 3.0 CSL Hommage R at this year’s Pebble Beach Concours D’Elegance. In many ways, it’s the same bodywork as the vehicle that debuted in May, but the new BMW Racing paint scheme, lower, wider stance, and gold wheels drastically improve the once questionable looks.

BMW Group design chief Adrian van Hooydonk said: “With the BMW 3.0 CSL Hommage R we’re aiming to show how much closer the driver and car can grow in the future.”

Besides the striking exterior, many of the 3.0 CSL Hommage R’s coolest innovations are revealed inside the cabin. The steering wheel display offers the driver details about the current track and his or her race position, the driver’s helmet can show speed and engine information, while special piping in the driver’s suit sleeves illuminates when both the driver’s hands are on the wheel. If you plan on racing your conceptual race car at night, that could be useful.

The 3.0 CSL Hommage/R harkens back to the early 1970’s 3.0 CSL and its component racing version. BMW claims this Hommage will remain a concept, but expect visual cues from the CSL to find their way into future production vehicles. Let’s hope that excludes the buck-toothed grille.

Reportedly, BMW’s M division, headed by Frank van Meel, plans to combat Mercedes-AMG’s Black Series models with further lightened, better-handling M cars, inspired by the work done on the 3.0 CSL Hommage/R. Conveniently, the M4 GTS ‘Concept,’ which accompanied the Hommage to Pebble Beach, is the first fruit of that effort.

The 3.0 CSL Hommage is the third Hommage BMW of the past decade, which includes the M1 Hommage and the 328 Hommage. Its bodywork is made of carbon-fiber reinforced plastic and it’s powered by a 3.0-liter straight-six engine and electric motor.

Related: BMW Reveals The 3.0 CSL Hommage Concept at the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este

Hooydonk added: “Our Hommage cars not only demonstrate how proud we are of our heritage but also how important the past can be in determining the future.”