2011 BMW M3 CRT -- Limited-edition light stuff, but not for U.S.

By KBB.com Editors on June 27, 2011 9:02 AM

Although a new generation 3 Series is due for 2012, BMW's M Meisters decided that there was still time to create at least one more trick variation on the current E90 theme. The result is this lightweight four-door iteration intended to showcase the automaker's latest advances in the realm of carbon fiber reinforced plastic: the 2011 BMW M3 CRT. Matching a good bit of performance hardware from the previously introduced M3 GTS Coupe with a healthy dose of mass-reducing composites -- the CRT designation stands for Carbon Racing Technology -- it will be built in a micro run of just 67 units. Sadly, like the GTS, none of them will be coming to America.

Finished in matte silver with metallic-red accents, the BMW M3 CRT is fitted with a carbon fiber hood that's nearly 50 percent lighter than the M3's standard aluminum counterpart. Other components getting a composite makeover include the car's front spoiler and rear wing as well as its racing-style front bucket seats. A lightweight titanium exhaust system rounds out the primary pound-pulling efforts, leaving the BMW M3 CRT some 100 pounds lighter than a production M3 sedan. Despite its finely focused diet, the CRT retains all of the basic M3 amenities, including a premium audio system, auto climate control and satellite navigation.

Mechanically, the 2011 BMW M3 CRT matches the 444-horsepower/4.4-liter V8 from the M3 GTS with a seven-speed, paddle-shiftable M-DCT dual-clutch automated transmission. Like the GTS, the CRT also benefits from some serious chassis revamps, including stiffer subframes, custom adjustable coil-over shock absorbers, bigger disc brakes and superlight 19-inch alloy wheels.