BMW 3200 CS, designed by Bertone for BMW

The BMW 3200 CS was a sports car designed by Bertone and built by BMW between January 1962 and September 1965, being the last variation of the platform that was first used in the 501, built in 1951.

The BMW 3200 CS, a classic BMW, was unveiled at the 1961 Frankfurt Motor Show, and its styling served as the basis for the later 2000 CS New Class and New Six coupés. It was the first BMW to feature the famous Hofmeister crease, which was to become one of the company’s iconic features.

The origin of the BMW 3200CS

In 1960, Helmut Werner Bonsch, BMW’s marketing manager, discovered that Pininfarina’s body for the Lancia Flaminia coupé would fit on the chassis of the BMW 3000 sedan without major modifications, so he proposed to the company’s management that Pininfarina adapt the Flaminia to the body of that car, adding the characteristic BMW grilles and thus creating a successor to the BMW 503, which had not been a great success in the market.

But BMW management rejected Bonsch’s proposal and instead instructed chief engineer Fritz Fiedler to commission Bertone to design and manufacture a new coupé body for the BMW 3200S. Technically the 3200 CS was the end of an era, still anchored to BMW’s pre-war design and techniques, yet the 3200 CS gave a glimpse of what was to come. The low waistline and slender pillars of the 3200 CS became a characteristic feature for the new vehicles that were to come in the next few years, the 2000 C and CS coupés based on the New Class sedans, and the E9 “New Six” coupé.

BMW 3200 CS production

The BNW 3200 CS was built from January 1962 to September 1965 and only about 600 units were produced, of which only one was a convertible version, made exclusively for Herbert Quandt, the company’s main shareholder at the time.

BMW 3200 CS cabrio

Features of the BMW 3200 CS

  • Engine: BMW OHV V8
  • 4-speed manual transmission
  • Dimensions:
    • Wheelbase: 2,840 mm
    • Length: 4,850 mm
    • Width: 1,760 mm
    • Height: 1,470 mm
    • Unladen weight: 1,500 kg
  • Predecessor: BMW 503
  • Successor: BMW New Class coupé