For car enthusiasts, few machines ignite the soul quite like the BMW M3. It’s a legend, a tarmac titan, a four-wheeled symphony of speed and precision. But amidst the already-exalted ranks of the M3, there exists a unicorn, a Bavarian banshee draped in carbon fiber: the BMW M3 CRT (E90). To call it a car is to do it a disservice. It’s an automotive jewel and for any collector, owning one is akin to holding a sliver of automotive nirvana.
Rarity, the First Allure
The BMW M3 CRT stands for Carbon Racing Technology, and it showcases the use of carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP) in the body and chassis of the car. The M3 CRT was produced in 2011, and only 67 units were made, making it one of the most exclusive BMW models ever. Fun fact: there is at least one M3 CRT in the United States and it can be seen at the BMW Car Club of America. Owning a CRT isn’t just about driving; it’s about belonging to a select club, a fellowship of gearheads who appreciate the finer points of German engineering pushed to its outer limits.
Carbon Fiber Couture: Form and Function
The CRT isn’t just rare; it’s a rolling advertisement for BMW’s prowess in lightweighting. Extensive use of carbon fiber sheds pounds like a boxer on a crash diet, transforming the M3 into a lean, mean, corner-carving machine. The official unladen weight of the M3 CRT is 3,483 lbs (1,580kg). How much lighter than the already fairly light E93 M3? Around 154 lbs (70 kg) less. The majority of the weight reduction occurred at the front axle, leading to an enhanced overall balance with a distribution of 51.6% towards the front and 48.4% towards the rear.
The wide fenders, the aggressive splitter, the bonnet nostrils with Melbourne Red accents that exhale with predatory glee – these aren’t just aesthetic flourishes; they’re functional wings sculpting the air, whispering promises of downforce and agility. Inside, it also has some carbon fiber bucket seats. There were special Sakhir Orange and Black dual colored covers for the front and individual rear seats.
The Heart that Roars: A Symphony of Power
The BMW M3 CRT is not just a cosmetic upgrade, but a performance beast. It also has a 4.4-liter V8 engine that delivers 450 hp and 440 Nm of torque, paired with a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. The M3 CRT can sprint from 0 to 100 km/h in 4.4 seconds, and reach a top speed of 290 km/h. The overall power to weight ratio is 7.72lbs (3.5kg) per 1 horsepower. The transmission responsible for channeling the engine’s power to the rear wheels in the BMW M3 is the M double-clutch transmission with Drivelogic. Developed specifically for the BMW M3, this seven-speed M DCT Drivelogic unit was tuned to complement the engine of the BMW M3 CRT. Additionally, a Launch Control function is available to achieve maximum acceleration from the starting line.
Other engine upgrades:
– Dynamically-optimized wet sump oil supply
– Bedplate crankcase construction in special aluminum-silicon alloy
– Individual throttle butterflies
– Knock control system with ion current technology
Great Daily Driver, Ready For The Track
The influence of expertise gained from competitive racing is evident in the chassis technology of the BMW M3 CRT. Notably, the construction of the front and rear axles of the BMW M3 Sedan has been enhanced by the addition of a sturdy rear axle subframe and coilover suspension with individually adjustable dampers for both compression and rebound. The high-performance brakes on the BMW M3 CRT feature a low-weight compound construction with six-piston, fixed-caliper design. The vented brake discs have dimensions of 378 x 32 millimeters at the front axle and 380 x 28 millimeters at the rear. Further refinements include the use of Stahlflex brake lines and model-specific comfort brake pads. The tires are 245/35 R 19 front and 265/35 R 19 rear, fitted on 19-inch M light-alloy wheels in Y-spoke design.
The sound? Allegedly just as great as the rest of the package. The sports exhaust system comes with an extremely lightweight titanium muffler.
A Dream On Four Wheels
The M3 CRT is a masterpiece of engineering and design, and a testament to BMW’s passion for innovation and excellence. It is every collector’s dream because it combines the heritage and charisma of the M3 with the cutting-edge technology and exclusivity of the CRT. The M3 CRT is not just a car, but a work
The CRT is a special edition BMW M3 based on the E90 M3. It stands for Carbon Racing Technology.
BMW only made 67 units globally. None were officially sold in the United States, but some models were imported and homologated by U.S. customers.
The official unladen weight of the M3 CRT is 3,483 lbs (1,580kg)