GREER, S.C, (December 5, 2022) – The BMW CCA Foundation and The Ultimate Driving Museum have selected the 2012 E90 BMW M3 CRT as December’s “Car of the Month Brought to You By Continental.” The campaign, which began in June, has spotlighted one car each month until the end of the year, to help support The Power of M exhibit at the Museum, celebrating BMW Motorsport’s 50th anniversary.
The exhibit, which opened to the public on May 16 and will run through January 2023, features 25 cars and one motorcycle that represent BMW Motorsport’s history, including significant race cars and their roadgoing counterparts from BMW M.
”Each car has its own story that established itself either as a race winner or a champion on the road. We at BMW CCA Foundation are proud of how BMW’s legacy of winning races has translated to producing outstanding cars for the consumer,” said Bruce Hazard, Board Trustee and head of Exhibit Committee for The Ultimate Driving Museum.
June’s initial “Car of the Month” was the 1974 E9 3.0 BMW CSL, while July’s choice was the 1979 E26 BMW M1 Procar. For August, the 1987 E28 BMW M5 was selected. In September it was the 1989 E30 BMW M3 Cecotto, followed by October’s 2003 E46 BMW M3 CSL and November’s 2006 E86 Z4 M coupe race car.
Featured as the final 2022 Car of the Month for December is the 2012 E90 M3 CRT No. E810855 powered by a 4,360cc S65 V8 450 hp @ 8,300 rpm, 325 lb-ft @ 3,900 rpm engine, with a 7-speed M-DCT transmission and a curb weight of 3,476 lbs. It has a top speed of 180 mph, and was priced when new at $189,830. The color of the one in the image is Frozen Polar Silver metallic. It is owned by Hunter Martin III of Houston, Texas.
Some of the best cars start as after-hours projects by visionary engineers working in their spare time. Such was the case with the E90 M3 Carbon Racing Technology. Developed by BMW M’s Walter Haupt, the CRT made extensive use of carbon fiber to drop 250 pounds from the M3 sedan. The hood and seat backs were made of an aramid honeycomb structure sandwiched by two layers of carbon left over from i3 construction. Those and other carbon parts helped balance the CRT’s weight distribution, with 48.4 percent over the rear axle where the standard M3 sedan put 47.8 percent.
The CRT got the most powerful iteration of the S65 V8 and the M-DCT transmission, both borrowed from the track-ready M3 GTS along with KW Variant 3 coilover suspension and oversized brakes. Like the GTS, the M3 CRT was a limited edition, and only 65 were offered for sale.
The car wasn’t street legal in the US, but Hunter Martin III was determined to bring one to Houston. With help from a sympathetic Christine Fleischer at BMW M, Martin got the last CRT available. In May 2012, he took BMW Welt delivery of M3 CRT No. E810855 and visited the M Studio in nearby Garching. “The staff said the CRT was the ultimate expression of the M philosophy and their naturally aspirated V8—the best M car at that point. It’s a wonderful example of automotive art, in every parameter,” said Martin.
Additional information on the 2012 E90 BMW M3 CRT may be found at https://bmwccafoundation.org/car-of-the-month/continental-car-of-the-month-december/
“By recognizing each month one of the iconic cars that are in the exhibit, we hope to bring awareness to BMW fans and the public to the dynamic provenance each of these cars represents in the history of BMW Motorsport,” added Hazard.
Along with 25 cars and one motorcycle, The Power of M includes informative displays throughout, telling the history of the cars and BMW M in words and photos.
The exhibit is also commemorated with a lavishly produced book that features the history of each car and the M brand/BMW Motorsport, with text by Jackie Jouret alongside new photography by Klaus Schnitzer and archival photos. The book is sold through the BMW CCA Foundation Store as well as Amazon.
Open to the public from May 16 through January 2023,The Power of M: Celebrating 50 Years is the fifth major exhibit staged by the BMW CCA Foundation. It follows these previous major exhibitions: 2017’s Heroes of Bavaria; 2018’s The ICON: 50 Years of the 2002; 2019’s PASSION: 50 Years of BMW Cars and Community; and 2020’s GENESIS: BMW From the Beginning. GENESIS closed in May 2021
following a successful year-long run at The Ultimate Driving Museum – right across Highway 101 from BMW Manufacturing, and next door to the BMW Performance Center in Greer, South Carolina.
ABOUT BMW MOTORSPORT GMBH:
BMW Motorsport GmbH was incorporated on May 24, 1972, as a racing and high-performance division of BMW AG. For the last 50 years, BMW Motorsport has built and campaigned BMW’s factory race cars in all forms of motorsport worldwide, from touring cars to Formula One. BMW Motorsport also created BMW’s high-performance line of M-branded road cars, now built under the auspices of BMW M GmbH. For the track or the street, the cars built by BMW Motorsport represent the zenith of BMW’s engineering expertise, and its creativity in the areas of design innovation and sustainable performance.
ABOUT THE BMW CCA FOUNDATION:
The BMW Car Club of America Foundation is an enthusiast-powered nonprofit, working in partnership with its donors, corporate partners and the 55,000-plus members of the BMW Car Club of America. It is not a subsidiary or program of BMW AG or BMW North America, although they are strong partners. The Foundation’s shared mission is to help young drivers learn car control in real-world situations (Tire Rack Street Survival), and celebrate the heritage of BMW Motorcars through its Museum, Archive, and Preservation programs. The BMW CCA Foundation operates the world’s second-largest BMW museum and archive, on seven acres next door to the BMW Performance Center in Greer, South Carolina.