BMW chose the M Night event in the lead-up to the Nürburgring 24-hour race to debut the sedan version of the BMW M3 GTS. The new model is called the M3 CRT (Carbon Racing Technology) and debuts the new production process for CFRP (carbon fiber reinforced plastic) components. It will be limited to only 67 units, each priced at 130,000 euro - or about $185,000 at the current exchange rates.

Like with the GTS, the new M3 CRT’s drive system, chassis technology, and intelligent lightweight design has been inspired directly by motor sport. It features a weight reduction and a more powerful engine, but the main feature of the M3 CRT is the car’s bonnet which is made from a cellular carbon honeycomb This material is produced in a globally unique process pioneered for the manufacturer of body components for the BMW i3 and BMW i8 models.

UPDATE 06/28/2011: BMW’s newest special edition hasn’t even been out for a week yet and already there are reports stating that the BMW M3 CRT (Carbon Racing Technology) has completely sold out. That’s right, according to German magazine, Autobild, any hopes of owning one of the 67 available units may be dashed.

If this rumor does hold any water, don’t expect BMW to amp up their production efforts to quench the demand. An insider has already stated that the company only has the resources and timeframe to produce 67 units, and a total of zero of those units will be making their way over to the States. Once again, the US gets a big fat goose egg on the cool special edition models and what’s worse, the BMW M3 CRT didn’t even need the US market to fill its orders.

Hit the jump to read more about the BMW M3 CRT.

  • 2012 BMW M3 CRT
  • Year:
    2012
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    V8
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
    450@8300
  • Torque @ RPM:
    324@3750
  • 0-60 time:
    4.4 sec.
  • Top Speed:
    180 mph
  • car segment:
  • body style:

Exterior and Interior

2012 BMW M3 CRT High Resolution Exterior
- image 407040

The M3 CRT previews BMW’s future models - like the i8 - in which the entire body of the car as well as the passenger cell area is made of CFRP. What makes the CRT unique is that BMW has taken the leftover CFRP and reprocessed it with synthetic resin to create a bonnet that has the strength of a conventional steel hood at a quarter of its weight. This new hood is even 50% lighter than an aluminum hood.

2012 BMW M3 CRT High Resolution Exterior
- image 407062

Additional weight savings were achieved by using a sports exhaust system with an extremely lightweight titanium muffler and two individual rear seats that take their cues from the lateral support-enhancing contours of the front seats. Other features of the M3 CRT include an M double-clutch transmission with Drivelogic, Navigation system Professional, BMW Individual High End audio system, a light, exterior mirror and luggage area package, an alarm system, and Park Distance Control with sensors at the front and rear of the car.

With all of this equipment jammed into the M3, the vehicle weighs 3483 lbs, dropping 99lbs compared to the standard M3 sedan. Take out the extras and we’re left with an additional 154 lbs weight loss.

2012 BMW M3 CRT Interior
- image 407054

Aside from the vehicle’s weight plan, the M3 CRT can be distinguished by an exclusive Frozen Polar Silver metallic exterior paint combined with Melbourne Red metallic applications and special treatment for the BMW kidney grille. The interior gets an Alcantara-covered M steering wheel, featuring the M Drive button with spontaneous activation of the sharpest throttle response and M Dynamic Mode of DSC. The front and individual rear seats stand out in special Sakhir Orange and Black bi-colour covers, while the exclusive door sill strips, door panels, and trim strips are made from an aluminum grain structure.

Engine

2012 BMW M3 CRT High Resolution
- image 407041

Under the hood of the M3 CRT is the same engine found in the M3 GTS: a 4,360 cc V8 that delivers a total of 450 HP at 8,300 rpm and a peak torque of 324 lbs-ft at 3,750 rpm. The car delivers a weight-to-power ratio (DIN) of 4.8 kg/kW which will sprint the car from 0 to 60 mph in 4.4 seconds and achieve a top speed of 180 mph.

This engine will be mated to a seven-speed M DCT Drivelogic transmission which allows for an uninterrupted flow of power through gear changes to deliver extremely dynamic acceleration. Its shift characteristics have been tuned specially for the engine powering the BMW M3 CRT. Shift paddles on the steering wheel allow the driver to change gear manually with optimum ergonomics and a Launch Control function is on hand to generate maximum acceleration off the start line.

The list of equipment for the M3 CRT will include: a rigid rear axle subframe and coilover suspension, vented brake discs measuring 378 x 32 millimeters at the front axle and 380 x 28 millimeters at the rear, a specially tuned DSC (Dynamic Stability Control) system – including ABS and M Dynamic Mode (MDM) - and a set of 19-inch M light-alloy wheels in Y-spoke design.

Performance

2012 BMW M3 CRT High Resolution Exterior
- image 407044

In December 2011, German magazine Autobild gave themselves a little present: they took all of the current BMW M models and tested them on the circuit to see which one was the fastest. All of the tests were done on the Sachsenring circuit in Germany and, surprising or not, the fastest model turned out to be the M3 CRT (E90). In fact, according to Autobild, not only was it the fastest from all the models tested, it was also the fastest M Car they have ever tested on the Sachsenring.

The M3 CRT lapped the circuit in 1:38.87 , closely followed by the M5 with a lap time of 1:38.90 and the 1-Series M Coupe with a time of 1:40.18. The list continues with the M3 in coupe, sedan, and convertible forms and ends with the X6M and X5M. Both SUVs were faster than the old E60 M5.

And just for fun, Autobild also brought a Porsche Panamera Turbo S and a Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG to the test.

Autobild Shootout Sachsenring lap time
BMW M3 GTS (on semi-slicks) 1:37.30
BMW M3 CRT 1:38.87
BMW F10 M5 (driven by Claudia Hürtgen. Other cars were driven by Autobild drivers) 1:38.90
BMW 1M Coupe 1:40.18
BMW M3 Coupe DCT 1:40.52
BMW M3 Sedan DCT 1:40.60
BMW M3 Convertible DCT 1:42.63
BMW X6 M 1:43.67
BMW X5 M 1:43.72
BMW E60 M5 1:43.77
F10 M5 Competition Sachsenring lap time
Porsche Panamera Turbo S 1:38.13
BMW F10 M5 1:38.90
Mercedes E63 AMG PP 1:40.59

Prices

2012 BMW M3 CRT High Resolution Exterior
- image 407051

The BMW M3 GTS is limited to only 135 units, but the M3 CRT is even more exclusive with only 67 planned units. Prices in Germany will start at 130,000 euro - or about $185,000 at the current exchange rates.

Competition

2012 BMW M3 CRT Exterior
- image 407077

BMW may have put in a lot of work deciphering a new way to make carbon-fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP) weigh less, but the 450 HP found under its hood still falls short of some of its competitors, like the Cadillac CTS-V sedan (556 HP) and the Mercedes C63 AMG (457 HP). Not to mention the fact that the M3 CRT is also priced way higher than the competition.

In the end, it really doesn’t matter anyway. Only 67 people will have the luxury of driving the cutting edge and lightest BMW M3, and we have a feeling that none of those people will live in the U.S.

2012 BMW M3 CRT High Resolution Exterior
- image 407046
  • Leave it
    • Only 67 units will be produced
    • No units for the U.S.
    • Competition is still more powerful
What do you think?
Show Comments

20 comments:

  (427) posted on 12.28.2011

The only thing that I am not really fond of is that all that nice tech that they have put into this one would take years before ending up in cheaper vehicles.

  (502) posted on 11.23.2011

I love the exclusivity of this vehicle and the fact that it is so practical to use for an everyday transportation! Anyway, I noticed that its interior is not really classy, but it looks very comfortable.

  (530) posted on 11.22.2011

Well, that is really an achievement for BMW, and I must say that it is truly quite a satisfying vehicle. However, I found out that its competitor still had a more powerful engine than what it had.

  (466) posted on 11.21.2011

CRT is one of the most successful vehicles of BMW, and it is really an achievement for them! Well, this car is not absolutely a good-looking car, but I noticed that it was oozing with an appeal!

  (831) posted on 11.16.2011

I thought BMW can’t build such an attractive vehicle, but this CRT of them, I can say that it is more than on what I’ve expected on them! smiley just too bad to hear that it will only be limited at 67 units.

  (677) posted on 11.16.2011

CRT is not the most luxury sedan today, but this one was really oozing with an appeal! I also noticed that it had an impressive engine specification which only gives me the idea that it is so fun to drive with!

  (374) posted on 11.9.2011

That was really a success for BMW! I’m glad to hear that even it is on an expensive market price, they still sold out this CRT! Well, I can say that it really has a great package which is so irresistible.

  (453) posted on 11.3.2011

Well, there’s really no doubt, if this one is already sold out! BMW M3 CRT is totally a complete packaged for a sedan. Well, the exterior of this one, is obviously very striking as well as in its interior.

  (459) posted on 11.2.2011

Sad to say, they will produce 67 units only for this BMW M3. Well, I must say that it is absolutely a good-looking car that everyone would love to have in spite of having a simple design and detailing.

  (382) posted on 10.27.2011

I just noticed that its sleek metallic paint gives the expression that this car is so massive and a decent car which I must say, impressed me a lot, but I wonder if what will be the interior of this one will look like?

  (594) posted on 09.14.2011

I’m simply impressed with this CRT but I noticed that the wheels looks lousy. The metallic paint that they used add some pretty on this car.

  (466) posted on 07.7.2011

Ha, I am not really all that surprised that this one sold out so rapidly. After all, they have put in many delectable features to it, so people would really want to get a hold of it.

  (600) posted on 06.30.2011

The detailing of the car look astonishing. You can really sense the nature of BMW of creating cars with luxurious style with sporty look. Plus the fact that it has a good interior specs (especially the carbon fiber ones), it makes the car more cooler than ever.

  (302) posted on 06.28.2011

Well, I think that all that carbon fiber is definitely worth it. Not only is this car lighter and stronger than the regular M3, it would also be much cooler with all those parts.

  (798) posted on 06.27.2011

Actually, if you look at it, that one is really the biggest selling point of this baby. All that carbon fiber would make this one very light and quick.

  (594) posted on 06.27.2011

I really don’t know why, but I am totally attracted to these carbon fiber part. Not only do they make the car lighter, bit they also make it look much cooler.

  (320) posted on 06.24.2011

Well, that’s really how this one goes. But if they can make progress in the CFRP manufacturing process, then we can be pretty much sure that this would make its way to the cheaper models sooner.

  (384) posted on 06.24.2011

Hmm, that would be quite interesting. The only thing that I am not really fond of is that all that nice tech that they have put into this one would take years before ending up in cheaper vehicles.

  (399) posted on 06.24.2011

WOW! The styling and look of this car looks so great. And its elegance really stands out with the carbon fiber material used in this car. Plus, the power output was incredibly awesome.

  (434) posted on 06.24.2011

Hmm. It seems that the team creative of BMW is too fast to build a newer car. However, I was glad to know that they have used the M package on this production. I like the elegance and the luxurious detailing on this car.

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