BMW M3 CRT Showcases New Carbon Fiber Production Process
By Carl Malek
BMW has released the official details on its newest special edition M3 the 2012 BMW M3 CRT (Carbon Racing Technologies). First introduced earlier this year as the BMW M3 GTS Sedan Concept, this featherweight M3 can be considered a four door version of the M3 GTS Coupe – a car considered by many to be perhaps the most radical factory car ever built on the current generation E92 platform. Of course, the addition of the sedan’s rear doors does increase weight by 198 lbs over the M3 GTS Coupe. Despite this slight weight increase, the M3 CRT manages to achieve a curb weight of 3,483 lbs which is a full 100 lbs lighter than a typical M3 sedan.
This weight reduction is made possible thanks to the extensive use of lightweight materials as well as the use of a brand new carbon fiber production technique that BMW is debuting on the CRT. This technique involves the use of special cellular carbon honeycomb that is used on the hood as well as the front and rear seat frames. A sneak preview of what will soon be used in the upcoming i3 and i8 models, this material helps create parts that are about 50 percent lighter than a hood and seat frame made out of conventional materials. In addition to the aforementioned use of carbon fiber, the exhaust system will be made out of titanium and the brake calipers will utilize a lightweight compound in their design. Other CRT exclusive touches include blacked out hood vents and twin kidney grilles, a carbon fiber trunk spoiler, and fender side blades covered with red accents. The interior of the CRT is also reworked with the rear seats, door panels, and door sills being subject to the same weight saving treatment with the use of carbon fiber and aluminum trim.
Powering this welterweight M3 is the familiar 4.4 liter V8 that first made its debut in the BMW GTS. Good for 450 horsepower, BMW claims that it can propel the CRT from 0 to 60 mph in just 4.4 seconds. All of this power is sent to the pavement through BMW’s familiar seven speed dual clutch gearbox which has also been carried over from the GTS two door.
If all of this performance sounds enticing, and you want to buy a M3 CRT for your garage you better get in line quickly. BMW is only producing 67 copies of the CRT before production ends. All 67 units will be painted up in Frozen Polar Silver Metallic complete with red exterior accents and a black and orange interior. At this point, BMW has not officially confirmed whether any of the 67 examples will be sent to U.S shores. Hopefully the company will consider U.S orders in the future, but regardless, this model will not only reward its 67 lucky owners with world class performance but also allow BMW to showcase the latest advancements in technology that the company has to offer.