Lighter, more focused version of its M3 revealed at Nurburgring - but UK buyers won't get it
23 June 2011

BMW has launched a lighter, more focused version of its BMW M3 saloon - but British buyers won’t get the chance to buy it. The M3 CRT - Carbon Racing Technology - has been unveiled on the eve of the Nürburgring 24 Hours in Germany.

It’s designed to showcase BMW’s latest developments in carbon fibre reinforced plastic (CFRP), a material that will be used extensively in the forthcoming i3 and i8 eco-models.

See pics of the BMW M3 CRT

The BMW M3 CRT uses the new material in its bonnet - where it brings a weight saving of around 50 per cent over the regular aluminium unit - and the front seats. Other features include a new spec of soundproofing and two individual rear seats which take styling cues from the front items.

The overall weight saving over the regular saloon is around 45kg, at 1580kg; however, BMW says that when the limited-edition model’s standard equipment list is taken into account, the equivalent figure is around 70kg.

The adjustments also place a little more weight over the rear axle (now 48.4 per cent); BMW claims this improves agility.

Video: BMW M3 GTS vs Porsche 911 GT3

The new model gets the same spec of engine as the hardcore, ultra-expensive M3 GTS - which means the 4.4-litre V8 produces 444bhp at 8300rpm and 440Nm at 3750rpm. That’s enough to take the CRT from 0-62mph in 4.4sec, 0.5sec faster than the regular saloon.

BMW GB has elected not to take the car because it perceives the M3 as a saloon and coupé; although the four-door is sold here, its volumes are tiny compared with those of the two-door and drop-top variants.

The move is a second blow to M division enthusiasts in the UK, following BMW GB’s decision to not offer the latest M5 with a Driver’s Pack that lifts its top speed to 190mph.

In any case, the M3 CRT is unlikely to be cheap; just 67 examples will be made. That’s 68 fewer than the total production run of the M3 GTS, which cost well in excess of £115,000.

John McIlroy

See all the latest BMW M3 reviews, news and video

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • First Drive
    23 March 2018
    Fully-loaded, big-hitting diesel CLS shows the potential perils of ticking too many options boxes on your order form. A good car with a bad suspension combination.
  • BMW M5
    First Drive
    22 March 2018
    Super saloon deploys four-wheel drive to improve every facet of its driving experience. Faster and more capable than any, and more exciting than most, of its celebrated predecessors
  • Range Rover Sport SVR
    First Drive
    22 March 2018
    More power and an intoxicating soundtrack have breathed new life into our love affair with the biggest, baddest Range Rover Sport variant
  • First Drive
    21 March 2018
    The new Vantage has been developed as a Porsche 911 beater, and our first taste on UK roads suggests it can live up to that bold claim
  • Nissan Leaf Tekna
    The is the new Nissan Leaf
    First Drive
    21 March 2018
    The new version of the world's best-selling electric car gains a bigger battery and more power. How does it compare to rivals such as the Volkswagen e-Golf?