BMW shows off its ability to cut weight with the use of race-engineered carbon fiber with its new M3 CRT limited edition.
Offered exclusively to a handful of European buyers, the BMW M3 CRT is the German automaker's most advanced carbon fiber production model project yet.
Motorsport-driven carbon fiber design is showcased in the four-door high-performance sedan which, to the casual observer, might just look like an M3 with a snappy matte finish paint job. Beneath the surface, however, BMW has cut enough weight to give the M3 an impressive 7.7 lbs. per horsepower ratio.
The M3 CRT - CRT is for Carbon Racing Technology - features cellular carbon honeycomb used for the front and rear seat frames and hood the hood. A preview of what's to come in the company's upcoming i3 and i8 EVs, they save about 50 percent over what an aluminum hood and steel seats might weigh.
In addition, the CRT package includes a carbon fiber rear spoiler and an integrated air channeling system built into the front fascia. In these applications, the carbon fiber is used for more than just weight savings.
The M3 CRT also gains the M3 GTS' 450-horsepower 4.4-liter V8. Underneath, it features a specially-tuned stability control and six-piston high-performance brakes plus adjustable suspension dampers.
An exclusive Frozen Polar Silver metallic paint scheme sets off the M3 CRT outside, while Melbourne Red trim and a special BMW kidney grille complete the look. Inside, the CRT sees the aforementioned lightweight seats covered in Sakhir Orange and black. and aluminum grain detailing.
In total, BMW says that the CRT shaves about 100 lbs. off of the standard M3, which gives it a 3,485 lbs. curb weight. However, since the M3 CRT's are relatively well-optioned - with navigation, the M double-clutch transmission, a premium audio system, park distance control and a few other goodies - BMW says the weight savings is more like 154 lbs. Clearly, the CRT is meant as more of a showpiece than a dedicated track machine like some previous lightweight M3s.
Just 67 examples will be built by BMW's M team in Germany, none of which are bound for customers in the United States thanks to the difficulty involved in homolgating such an advanced car for this market. Pricing for European customers has not been announced.