This is BMW’s new hardcore M3 sedan, the CRT, which stands for Carbon Racing Technology.
To be produced in a limited run, the M3 CRT was unveiled during a pre-race BMW M event ahead of this weekend’s Nürburgring 24-hour race.
The special edition model combines the body style of the M3 sedan with technology from the M3 GTS coupe, topped off with the use of carbon-fibre reinforced plastic (CFRP) to further reduce the car’s weight.
BMW said the M3 CRT represents the worldwide debut of a new production process for carbon-fibre reinforced plastic components in the automotive industry, adding that we will see the same materials on the upcoming i3 EV hatchback and i8 hybrid sports coupe, due to enter volume production in 2013.
In the M3 CRT, CFRP is used to make both the rear spoiler and front airdam, as well as the bonnet, the bucket seats for the driver and front passenger. Along with the use of a sports titanium exhaust system and other lightweight materials, BMW M engineers have managed to shave 45 kg or 99.2 pounds from the regular M3 saloon bringing the total weight down to 1,580kg or 3,483 lbs.
Interestingly, BMW said that if you take into account the equipment on board the weight saving is more like 70 kg or 154.3 pounds.
Under the carbon-fiber bonnet of the CRT lies the M3 GTS’s upgraded 4.4-liter V8 that pumps out 450-horses at 8,300 rpm and peak torque of 440 Nm (324.5 lb-ft) on tap at 3,750 rpm.
Transferring the V8 lump’s power to the rear wheels is a 7-speed M doubleclutch transmission with Drivelogic. BMW says the CRT can go from zero to 100km/h (62mph) in just 4.4 seconds with the electronic capping its top speed at 290 km/h (180mph).
Other features include a modified rear suspension, the addition of six-piston, fixed-calliper high-performance brakes, a specially tuned DSC (Dynamic Stability Control) system and new 19-inch lightweight alloy wheels wrapped in performance tires size 245/35 R 19 up front and 265/35 R 19 at the rear.
The M3 CRT is offered in an exclusive Frozen Polar Silver metallic exterior paint shade in combination with Melbourne Red metallic applications and a special treatment for the kidney grille.
Inside, apart from the two-tone sports seats, the M3 special features bespoke door sill strips, door panels and trim strips in aluminium grain structure, while the steering wheel is covered in Alcantara.
BMW will build only 67 examples of the M3 CRT worldwide.