BMW 2800CS

Sunday, December 26, 2010

he BMW CS series was one of the automakers most successful models. A key part of BMW's startling sales success in the 1970s and 1980s was its introduction of a new engine family in the 1960s, with hemispherical combustion chambers, opposed valves in crossflow cylinder heads, and overhead-camshaft valvegear. The first of these appeared in late 1961 to power the make-or-break "New Generation" 1500 sedan. Since then, it's been built with both four and six cylinders in displacements from 1.5 to 3.4 liters, and remains an important building block at BMW today.

As this engine grew, the original "New Generation" sedan evolved through 1600, 1800, and 2000 derivatives. A new CS coupe variation arrived in 1965, combining the 2000 sedan's running gear, floorpan, and some inner panels with a handsome new pillarless body designed by BMW's Wilhelm Hofmeister and executed by Karmann of Osnabrück. Unfortunately, this 2000CS had but a 120-horsepower four and was thus somewhat underpowered, while its face was one only Frau Hofmeister could have loved.

But BMW is nothing if not persistent, and in late 1968 it corrected most every 2000CS flaw in a six-cylinder successor, the BMW 2800CS. To accommodate the longer engine, new sheetmetal was grafted onto the existing body ahead of the cowl, adding 2.9 inches in wheelbase but nearly five inches to overall length.