When two silver BMW coupes—one a 2000 CS and the other a 3.0 CS—show up on almost the same day at the Cohort, it’s another variation of the CC Effect® that must be heeded. So here they are, the 2000 CS—shot by Benóit—at the top, and the 3.0 CS (E9)—shot by JC—below.
Their bodies from the cowl back are essentially the same, but the three inch longer wheelbase in the front end and the new front end styling, along with a few other details make them pretty easy to tell apart, especially when looking at them from the front.
Let’s start with the original, whose front end styling is controversial. It was the work of BMW in-house design chief Wilhelm Hofmeister, but not one of his finer creations. It has a major overbite, and the Corvair’s influence on all of the “New Class” cars most obvious in this front end, especially since it had only the kidneys for its grille, unlike the sedans.
It suggested a rear engine car as a result, and made the coupe feel overly delicate, feminine and a bit light weight.
The 2000 C/CS arrived in the summer of 1965 with the latest 2.0 L version of the BMW four; the C had 100 hp, and the CS had 120 hp. Given their high price tags, that made their performance rather modest in relative and absolute terms, as the Karmann-built coupe weighed more than the sedans.
The US version, with its mandatory sealed beam headlights, looked even more Corvair-like in the front. A total of 13,691 C/CS coupes were sold.
In 1969 the 2800 CS arrived, with its longer front end that reflected the front end styling of the new six-cylinder E3 sedans (2500/2800/ 3.0, Bavaria, etc.). And of course that longer front end was necessary to fit the superb new six cylinder engines. The 2800 CS already had 168 hp, and that was just the starting point.
The 3.0 CS/CSi upped that, to 180 and 200 hp respectively. The 3.0 Coupe became an instant classic, and over 30, 000 were sold during its reign at the top of the BMW pecking order.
We have two full CCs on the E9 coupes, by Eric703 and T87, so I won’t go into greater detail here:
Curbside Classic: 1974 BMW 3.0 CS – The Ultimate Driving Legacy
Curbside Classic: 1974 BMW 3.0 CSi Automatic – Sixties Beauty Turns Into Seventies Beast