The BMW F80 M3 is set to debut later this year and that’s good news for everyone. For those looking for a return to an inline 6 configuration with the added bonus of turbos, as well as those who weren’t quite able to afford BMW’s current E90/2 models. The current crop of M3s are sure to hold their value on the used market (for a time), but the chance at secondhand ownership becomes a very real possibility in the next couple of years.
Reports from the Detroit Auto Show are also saying that BMW plans to sell more special edition variants of the M3 in the US over the next couple of years. Based on the success of the Mercedes C63 AMG Black Series, BMW are keen to enter the enthusiast market more heavily.
Any car guy would jump at the chance to own an enthusiast model. As a Subaru owner, I’d kill for the chance at buying an Impreza Spec C or S model from Japan. Everyone is already familiar with the E92 M3 GTS, a car featured heavily in the media as the “ultimate” of the current M3s, but another version exists in the form of an E90 sedan.
The E90 M3 CRT (Carbon Racing Technology) touts less of a track oriented driving experience and rather aims to be the ultimate M3 for the road. Armed with 4 doors and a full interior, it’s quite a different package than its GTS sibling.
Cosmetically the car remains pretty much the same with the addition of a carbon front lip and trunk spoiler. Hits of red on the exterior trim help to distance the car’s looks from the standard model.
A set of matte black mesh wheels and upgraded brakes add to the car’s more aggressive performance.
The CRT is equipped with the same 450 HP, 4.4L V8 as the GTS coupe.
One of the CRT’s biggest advantages over the GTS is the inclusion of a full interior. For some it’s not necessarily a game changer, but the lack of a roll cage and the ability to fit an additional 4 passengers means that you could use this car everyday.
Despite the bigger engine and brakes, the CRT manages to be 100 pounds lighter than the standard E90 M3. Unfortunately like most special enthusiast models, the CRT is limited to 67 units. While the chances of ever owning one is slim to none, it gives us all a glimpse of what may be available to the North American market in the future. Things are looking pretty bright.
Photos courtesy of BMW.