In 1968, BMW made a return to six-cylinder power for its flagship models, introducing the 2500 and 2800 saloons, along with the stylish 2800 CS coupé, known as the ‘E9’. The 2800 CS shared the 2800 saloon’s M30 engine but had running gear similarities with the four-cylinder 2000C/CS. In 1971, the 2800 CS was succeeded by the 3.0-liter CS, bringing several improvements, including four-wheel disc brakes.
The 3.0 CS was a powerful car, capable of reaching speeds exceeding 130mph, positioning BMW to compete directly with top sports cars. Notably, it achieved victory in the European Touring Car Championship and class wins at Le Mans, Spa, and Daytona, coinciding with the growth of tuning partners like Schnitzer Motorsports and Alpina.
In 1971, BMW further refined the existing 2.8 six-cylinder cars while incorporating successful features. The two-door coachwork displayed strong Bertone influence, and Karmann enhanced the chassis, integrating suspension elements from the luxury 3.0-liter saloons. The 2,986cc six-cylinder engine delivered around 172bhp at 5,800rpm, and the CS models featured a four-speed manual gearbox. The elegantly styled coupé, crafted by Karmann, could reach a top speed of 131mph and accelerate from 0 to 60mph in just 8 seconds.