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Bavarian Nonsense: The BMW M3 CRT

June 26, 2011 by Matt


The warlocks at BMW’s M Division have unleashed their latest creation on the automotive world: The M3 CRT.

The raison d’ĂȘtre for the techy-sounding suffix?

CRT stands for Carbon Racing Technology. Intelligent lightweight design is an important component in the BMW M repertoire, directly inspired by the world of motor racing. The BMW M3 CRT is the first model to use a material that originated in an innovative BMW production process for lightweight components. The cuttings left behind from the body construction of the new BMW i models BMW i3 and BMW i8 are woven into CFRP mats of various sizes, impregnated with synthetic resin and hardened.

So…they’re making an M3 with lighter body panels, tarting it up with some fancy upholstery, adding all the suspension bits likely already available from the BMW catalog (or at least from aftermarket tuners closely associated with the company), installing the GTS’s V8, which, I might add, produces a whopping 30 more horsepower than the standard M3 mill, and charging upwards of $150K for the privilege? Color me underwhelmed.

As much a fan as I am of lightness in all aspects of automotive design, for an extra $100K (!) over the regular M3, this one’s just not worth it.

From the press release, to whit:

When all extraneous equipment is taken out of the equation, the BMW M3 CRT weighs 70 kg less than a BMW M3 sedan.

What “extraneous equipment?” Why wouldn’t they factor that into the weight of the car? Could it be because it weighs 70 kg or more and would render the whole thing a pointless exercise?

Nevermind that 70 kg (~150 lbs) isn’t exactly something to write home about. Especially when your run-of-the-mill E92 M3 coupe probably weighs less than the E90 sedan by close that amount.

The moral: Buy a regular M3 coupe, bolt on some performance suspension bits, add an aftermarket exhaust (handily making up the 30 hp deficit) and save yourself the money.

Filed under: BMW, News


  1. John D says:

    Amen to that. Seems like most ‘special edition’ cars the come from the manufacturers are merely collectors items. They’re not for the average performance-minded enthusiast…just the ones with more money than sense. You can take most any lesser model of the same car and, with some well placed modification, increase it’s performance by a significant margin at a fraction of the cost. For example, give me a current model Camaro SS and I will put on a Procharger supercharger for $6k, new suspension bits and wheel for $3k, and I bet it would be more car than the new ZL-1 they are coming out with next year which will probably cost another $20k-25k. Ridiculous.

  2. Jer H says:

    S4/RS4 is a perfect example, at least what we’ve seen on this side of the pond. The RS4, while a lovely piece of machinery, doesn’t have near enough modifications or additions over the S4 to render the difference in sticker worth the purchase when a fraction will take the S4 to the RS4’s level of prowess. I’m referring to the NA V8 as well. I would think even more so with the B8 given the forced induction.

    • Matt says:

      Hey Jer! Are you referring to the B5 or B7? I assume both. Totally agree, as well, but then again, I don’t recall Audi charging a $100K (!) premium for the RS versions. Maybe they did; I think I focused more on the specs than the price with the Audis.

      In any case, there’s simply not worth it, and then there’s beyond the pale, which is where BMW is with the GTS and CRT

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