Lightweight BMW M3 CRT unveiled

27 Jun

By Matt McCarron

Limited Production BMW M3 CRT (Carbon Racing Technology): Courtesy BMW Group

Power to weight ratio in everything in racing. Less weight allows a vehicle to accelerate with less friction and drag, making it quicker and faster. Lowing the weight of a car also its improves, agility, responsiveness and overall handling. BMW Motorsport, established in 1972, has a long tradition of taking their regular street cars and creating lighter and more nimble versions. The past lightweight M3’s include the iconic 3.0 CSL as well as lightweight M3s developed for both the E36 and E46 chassis production runs.

This past weekend, in anticipation of the Nurburgring 24-hour race BMW M unveiled their latest slim and trim creation, the BMW M3 CRT (Carbon Racing Technology). Unfortunately for U.S customers the M3 CRT will only be available to those in the European market.

Unlike the two previous production lightweight M3’s, BMW M chose to use the E90 M3 four-door chassis as the basis for the M3 CRT. This M3 has trimmed down thanks to a substantial portion of carbon-fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP). The hood of the M3 CRT is made of CFRP, making it 50 percent lighter than the steel equivalent on the regular E90 M3. The innovative material is also used in the construction of the vehicles seats. The M3 CRT supports its passengers with bucket seats composed of recycled-paper honeycomb and an exterior covering of CFRP. The final spots where CFRP is utilized is on a portion of the front lip used to channel air, and on the rear spoiler. All of these weight reductions allow the M3 CRT to have an unladen weight that is 99 lbs less than the standard M3 sedan. According to BMW, if you take into account the interior changes the weight savings total 154 lbs.

M3 CRT with special rear spoiler: Courtesy BMW Group

In accordance with the rest of the vehicle BMW Motorsport has placed a special, enlarged version of the naturally-aspirated V8 power plant in the M3 CRT. The engine, which can also be found on the M3 GTS, has been increased from 4.0-liters to 4.4-liters. Both horsepower and torque have also been increased because of this. At its peak the 4.4-liter punches out 450 hp at 8,300 rpm, with the maximum torque of 324 lb-ft ready to go at 3,750 rpm. All 67 units of the M3 CRT feature the seven-speed M double-clutch transmission (DCT) with launch control. The added horsepower combined with the reduction in weight give the M3 CRT a power-to-weight ratio of 7.7 lbs per horsepower.

The M3 CRT only comes in one color, BMW Individual Frozen Polar Silver metallic with Melbourne Red accents on the side kidney grills and hood vents. The interior offers the same individual touches with special aluminum grain on the door panels and trim pieces. Rounding out the interior is an Alcantara-covered M steering wheel, and special Sakhir Orange and Black two-tone design that covers the lightweight bucket seats.

BMW CRT Individual two-tone interior: Courtesy BMW Group

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