Bidding farewell to any generation of BMW M3 is always difficult, but this Carbon Racing Technologies version – limited to just 67 cars – seems a fitting run-out for the current model.
This saloon-only M3 comes with a carbon-fibre bonnet, rear spoiler and front airdam, along with some carbon-fibre shells for the front seats. The result is a 45kg weight reduction from the standard M3 saloon.
The Frozen Polar silver paint is complemented by Melbourne Red wing vents and black 19-inch alloys, while the interior is finished in red leather and Alcantara.
But what makes the CRT really special is found underneath the bonnet. It uses the same 4.4-litre V8 engine that powers the M3 GTS, which produces 444bhp and is fitted with a double-clutch M-DCT seven-speed gearbox.
This lets the M3 CRT go from 0-62mph in 4.4 seconds and reach a top speed of 180mph. Plus, a new exhaust and less sound deadening mean it makes a better noise than ever. You’ll notice the extra drama even at idle, and at higher revs, it sounds like an all-American muscle car.
Adjustable coilovers at each corner allow drivers to tweak every facet of the car’s responses, although the factory settings felt perfectly suited to the road and track work we put it through.
The CRT is more responsive than any other M3 we’ve driven, and that’s saying something. You can still feel its 1,580kg in quick changes of direction, but there’s little body roll and turn-in feels sharper than the standard car.
The back end can lose grip if you’re too heavy on the throttle, but unlike the twitchy GTS model, the CRT feels a lot more neutral, balanced and easier to control.
It also comes with more kit than a standard M3, including BMW’s professional navigation system, an uprated stereo and parking sensors, so buyers can have one of the most focused M3s without sacrificing comfort.
The only thing we don’t like about the CRT is that it won’t be sold in the UK. And even if it was, all 67 have already been bought, for over £100,000 – unsurprising given just how good this M3 is.