The BMW 3200 CS is a luxurious grand tourer that played a significant role in BMW’s history. Introduced in 1962, the 3200 CS was the last of the BMW “Baroque Angels” and represented the pinnacle of the company’s engineering and design achievements during that era.
The design of the BMW 3200 CS was a collaborative effort between BMW’s in-house designers and the Italian coachbuilder, Bertone. The renowned designer, Wilhelm Hofmeister, who was responsible for many iconic BMW designs, played a crucial role in shaping the 3200 CS. His elegant and timeless design language can be seen in the car’s flowing lines, harmonious proportions, and distinctive Hofmeister kink in the rear side window.
To bring the design to life, BMW enlisted the help of Giovanni Michelotti, a respected Italian designer who worked closely with Bertone. Michelotti’s expertise in automotive design and his ability to create beautiful and aerodynamically efficient shapes made him the perfect choice for the collaboration. The result was a car that exuded sophistication and elegance while showcasing BMW’s commitment to innovation.
Under the hood, the BMW 3200 CS featured an advanced engine for its time. The car was powered by a 3.2-liter V8 engine, which was a significant departure from BMW’s previous models that primarily used inline-six engines. The V8 engine delivered impressive power and smooth performance, producing around 160 horsepower. This gave the 3200 CS strong acceleration and a top speed of approximately 120 miles per hour, making it a formidable grand tourer.
The interior of the BMW 3200 CS was a testament to luxury and craftsmanship. The car featured a spacious cabin with comfortable seating for four occupants, upholstered in high-quality leather and accented with wood trim. Attention to detail was evident throughout the interior, with finely crafted instruments, elegant controls, and ample storage space. The 3200 CS offered a refined and comfortable driving experience, making it the ideal choice for long-distance journeys.
In terms of technological innovations, the BMW 3200 CS was well-equipped for its time. It featured power-assisted disc brakes on all four wheels, providing excellent stopping power and enhanced safety. The car also boasted independent front suspension and a rear semi-trailing arm suspension, ensuring a smooth and controlled ride.
While the BMW 3200 CS was not produced in large numbers, it made a lasting impact on the automotive industry and BMW’s legacy. The car represented a shift towards more luxurious and performance-oriented models for the brand. Its combination of elegant design, powerful engine, and refined interior set the stage for future BMW grand tourers and helped establish the company as a manufacturer of high-end, performance-focused vehicles.
The BMW 3200 CS’s production ceased in 1965, with approximately 603 units built in total. However, its influence can still be seen in the design language of BMW’s contemporary models. The timeless elegance and attention to detail exhibited in the 3200 CS continue to inspire BMW designers and shape the brand’s modern lineup.
Today, the BMW 3200 CS is highly regarded by collectors and enthusiasts worldwide. Its rarity, beautiful design, and historical significance make it a sought-after classic car. The 3200 CS stands as a symbol of BMW’s commitment to craftsmanship, innovation, and luxurious grand touring experiences.