Brilliant E90 V8 M3 CRT (Carbon Racing Technology) – 1 of 68 worldwide
The standard E90 M3 (saloon) is, in our opinion, already one of – or arguably the – greatest all-round production M car. A superb blend of relative simplicity, performance, agility and even reliability. With quite understated looks, a fabulous, award winning V8 engine and a beautifully balanced chassis, it is quite simply a brilliant car to own and drive, either daily or on the race track (Palmer Sport used them for years at their track venues in totally standard guise). As the last naturally aspirated M3, it has also earned its place in the M hall of fame, largely due to the way it revs round to nearly 8k in that old skool style, the driver ringing every drop of power out of that fabulous 4.4 litre V8, accompanied by one of the greatest true soundtracks around – music that is not made in a studio, simulated, or piped in through the audio system.
Then came the M3 CRT. As BMW worked on their ‘new’ concept for an electric car – which would become the i3 and i8 – they perfected CFRP (carbon fibre reinforced plastic) development as a basis for the structure of the car body. Someone – and we do love them for it – decided to put some of this material into a limited edition version of the V8 saloon. One look at the bonnet of the CRT will demonstrate the remarkable effect of this new tech – it feels stupidly light and is literally half the weight of the already lightweight aluminium original – and they also used it on the spoilers and front seats. Various other weight saving methods were adopted, including titanium back boxes, resulting in a like-for-like weight loss of nearly 70kg before any options were added back. Most of the weight came off the front end, further improving the already superb weight distribution.
Power is up to a massive 450bhp with 440nm of torque giving a 0-60 times of just a smudge below 4 seconds, according to some tests. The superb 7 Speed DCT box fits perfectly in the package, making the car just as driveable in town as it is on track or on country lanes. It’s not lairy and shouty to look at like its sister, the M3 GTS – there are no massive spoilers or orange paintwork. Instead, there are subtle sporty touches that give the game away, the little red flashes on the side and bonnet grilles, those seats, the frozen paint and those expensive looking spoilers. The cockpit is true to the original ethos that BMW have now sadly done away with – reduce stress on the driver by making the controls as uncluttered and simple as possible. There’s enough settings to mean the CRT can be adapted for either track or street – the car runs adjustable coil overs and you can dial down the traction control, as well as press a power button for more er…power. And that’s it. Its all you need – except for maybe a brave pill.
But all this is just bla bla bla once you get behind the wheel. Because the CRT drives, quite literally, like a dream. Quicker to accelerate, more poised, sharper reacting and – oh my God – the noise! Everyone who has driven the CRT at Munich Legends shares the same opinion. It is a true masterpiece. We’re not sure if there is a better car in the history of BMW M. Those relatively minor tweaks turn an already superb car into perfection. The only question is, if this is peak M, what do you do? There’s only one answer – raise the money. Sell a kidney, a relation, the house, or all your belongings, whatever it takes. If you’re an M enthusiast, heaven is…in our showroom. With only 68 examples worldwide (all in frozen silver) it is also one of the lowest production runs of any BMW, guaranteeing Legend status and investment values, as well as our eternal jealousy.
With less than 2500 miles on the odometer, you’d expect the condition to be good, and our technicians are not disappointed. A new tyre inflation kit, a 3rd oil service, and a new set of tyres and the CRT will be ready to drive away by its new owner. All we ask is that we can have one more drive before it leaves…please?
For more information on this stunning machine, or to arrange a visit (by appointment only please) contact our showroom team on 01825 740456 or email@example.com – heaven awaits.