BMW M3 CRT Blends Lightweight Materials With Traditional Luxury

Hey Goldilocks, your BMW M3 has arrived. If the standard M3 is too soft and the M3 GTS a bit too hard, then the new M3 BMW CRT could be just right. The latest member of the M3 family combines performance bits from the M3 GTS with creature comforts from the standard M3, and wraps the package with quite a bit of lightweight composite material.

CRT stands for Carbon Racing Technology, and as the name implies, BMW put its carbon-weaving skills to good use -- as it has with several recent concepts  (e.g. the 328 Hommage) and special edition models (e.g. the M3 Carbon Edition). For the M3 CRT, BMW recycled carbon fiber scraps from the i3 and i8 concept vehicles into new carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP) sheets, which is then molded to create the unique hood, body kit, and other associated parts. The composite material contributes to the M3 CRT’s weight of 3546 pounds; 204 more than the GTS, but 154 less than the standard M3.

While we definitely appreciate the effort put into weight loss, we were even more pleased with what BMW has decided to stuff under the hood. Last April’s rumor that the CRT’s power output would be somewhere between the standard M3 and the GTS has proven false. Instead of tweaking and fussing with engines, BMW simply used the GTS’ 4.4-liter V8 engine, which is tuned to 444 hp and 324 lb-ft of torque. It’s mated to BMW’s seven-speed dual clutch transmission (no manual available) and BMW claims the car will go from 0-60 mph in 4.4 seconds -- the same time it takes for the GTS.

What the CRT doesn’t share with the GTS, however, is its gutted interior (i.e. no rear seats, no climate control, no audio system, no noise-deadening material). Instead, the cabin is a lightweight twist on the comfy confines of the standard M3 with CFRP-shelled leather seats all around (there are actually two discrete seats in back).

How can you get your hands on this mostly hand built M3? For starters, you have to live in Europe. Second, be prepared to fork over 130,000 Euros ($184,132). And don’t be surprised if you can’t get your hands on one, since BMW is only building 67 copies of this über-limited M3.

Source: BMW

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