Originally Posted by aajami
I'm aware of the restrictions that car manufacturers face when certifying cars for release in the US, especially foreign manufacturers. That doesn't diminish the disappoint that I feel when we don't get the likes of the CSL, CRT, or GTS in the States. There are literally tens of thousands of hardcore enthusiasts on this forum -- I don't believe that there aren't 67 of us who wouldn't have paid $120,000 for a CRT (as one Texas gentleman did) had BMW brought that car out here, for example. If Mercedes can sell enough Black Edition cars in the US to make it worth their while, then BMW can certainly do the same. And why not release the components off of these cars as retrofit parts? People would gladly pay a premium for the GTS/CRT brakes, CRT hood, CRT seats, GTS wing, CRT lip, CRT spoiler, GTS lip, and so on, just as some E46M folks did for the CSL front bumper and trunk. Porsche doesn't VIN-lock their parts. If you want to pay $8,000 for a carbon fiber GT2 RS hood for your Boxster, more power to you.
That all said, I'm not as down on the Lime Rock edition as you probably think I am. I posted a little earlier in the thread, and as a value proposition, I think it's a good offering:
The gentleman in Texas paid double that and found a loophole in import laws- I have been briefed on it and it will be more difficult in the future.
The GTS/CRT parts are not readily produced and if you really want to spend $10K on a hood I think they will make you one, as they are only made to order replacements for the most part. The GTS/CRT were not production cars- they were Individual products- each car is basically a one of of a series, handmade.
I am one of the few to have ever driven the CRT- and I will say it is a fantastic machine but not worth over $200k which it would need to cost.
As for MB bringing the "Black"- that's their racing budget for the US and sell each one at a loss, maybe that is the route BMW goes in the future who knows.
At the end of the day I think what needs to be done is design these higher performance/limited cars from the start of production, homologate them from the start to sell enough numbers to make it less of a shock to the wallet.
Trust me as an enthusiast and lover of tracks I want nothing but for the US to see some of these more hardcore offerings but I get why they can't and it is not that they do not want to, they just can't lose money on a model.