BMW M3 CRT: Spotted

Think you know your M3s? A car like the CRT (Carbon Racing Technology) is always a good test for true aficionados. Rather like the E36 M3 Lightweight and the E46 GTR, it's one of those M3s that's both incredibly rare as well as quite a lot more serious than the standard version. Which makes it really rather cool.

If you haven't heard of the CRT, here's a brief rundown: using carbon parts - clue's in the name - shed 50kg from the weight of an E90 M3 saloon, while using a powertrain from the GTS meant 450hp at 8,300rpm and a 180mph top speed. Just 67 were made (65 customer cars; two for press use) and they cost 130,000 euros, with none for the UK.

A very special M car then, but made the more interesting because of its unique status in the M3 range. A logical link could be made back from the contemporary GTS to the E46 CSL, and of course that name continues to this day. But for the CRT there wasn't a similarly hardcore four-door to emulate, and it doesn't seem like BMW will embrace the idea once more - nice though an M3 CS certainly will be, it's not quite as focused as a CRT.

Moreover, nothing from M Division is ever again going to have an engine quite like that 4.0-litre V8. In this configuration it's making more than 100hp per litre, revs to way beyond 8,000rpm, and sounds utterly magnificent - see here for some proof of that.

So you want one - who wouldn't? The running gear from the fastest M3 of its generation dropped into the more subtle, more unassuming saloon body. Unsurprisingly you'll be expected to pay for the privilege, even without the UK ever officially receiving the CRT. Incredibly this dealer has a pair of cars available, one with 2,000 miles and the other with 3,000, both very close to £130,000. When you could buy a regular E90 M3 saloon with just 30hp less for £100,000 less, that might look a lot to some observers.

However, there's always another way to look at things. For the M3 CRT, there are quite a few different ways. Firstly it's for sale at the same money as the E92 M3 GTS is offered at currently, and the M4 GTS for that matter. In addition, you can still pay more than £100,000 for a considerably more common C63 AMG Black Series. Finally, being such a rare M3 and such a significant one as the very last naturally aspirated special edition, it's difficult to imagine the CRT ever plummeting in value.

Sure, it's left-hand drive. But so are all E30 M3s, Delta Integrales and F40s. Throw in a CRT and you're not going to turn that down as a four-car garage now, are you?


Engine: 4,360cc, V8
Transmission: 7-speed dual-clutch auto, rear-wheel drive
Power (hp): 450@8,300rpm
Torque (lb ft): 324@3,750rpm
MPG: 22.2
CO2: 295g/km
First registered: 2012
Recorded mileage: 2,359
Price new: 130,000 euros
Yours for: £129,995

See the original advert here.






P.H. O'meter

Join the PH rating wars with your marks out of 10 for the article (Your ratings will be shown in your profile if you have one!)

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9
  • 10
Rate this article

Comments (26) Join the discussion on the forum

  • downhillmalins 25 Apr 2018

    undoubtedly a cool car but that is serious cash!

    in the realms of all sorts of other amazing metal at that price tag.

  • ManOpener 25 Apr 2018

    This was always my favourite E9x generation special: 4 door saloon so much better proportioned than the coupé, with the running gear from the GTS but none of the GTS' garish addons.

  • Diesel Meister 25 Apr 2018

    Personally, I think these are epic. The 4.4 V8 is about perfect and the other changes make this nigh on impossible to improve aside from attainability (and a Spanish option, although the DCT probably works better overall with the engine characteristics. And the need to hold on on quite firmly.).

  • Oz83 25 Apr 2018

    There's a reason he has 2.

  • MikeGoodwin 25 Apr 2018

    Oz83 said:
    There's a reason he has 2.
    Is it because he cant shift them?

View all comments in the forums Make a comment