Car Of The Month - October 2021
Kicking it back to the early 2000’s this month with this gorgeous E46 M3. It’s arguably the most iconic M3 to leave the BMW production line. Boasting a naturally aspirated 3.2 straight six engine with a manual gearbox option and RWD; enough technology to keep the owner satisfied whilst still being a driver focused car. It’s a driving experience which many modern cars tend to lack, with their plethora of safety features and driver assists.
Aesthetically, the car has been modified in a tasteful manner. Carbon fibre accents can be found throughout, nothing too over the top or garish, and they are exactly where you would expect them to be. Carbon fibre side vents, front splitter, fog light inserts and a rear diffuser are the most notable. There’s more to be found in the interior and under the bonnet.
The inside of the E46 M3 offers exactly what you expect from a performance vehicle. The ergonomics are unrivalled by many newer models. Everything is within reach and where it needs to be, but that’s not the reason we’re mentioning the interior. The external theme continues internally. Flashes of carbon fibre fill the cockpit, with additional gauges monitoring the cars boost pressure, oil pressure, air/fuel ratio and electrical output. Ox Blood red leather and a retrimmed suede/leather performance wheel contrast beautifully with the Titan Silver paintwork.
The most obvious changes are the wheels and how the car sits. A set of iconic AC Schnitzer Type 2 alloys transforms this M3 and it stands out from other M3s are a result. It’s hard to deny that these are an incredibly good-looking wheel. It’s a look we’ll never tire of seeing. The owner has done an excellent job ensuring that the arch gap is minimised without sacrificing the practicality of the car. After all, this is an M3 and if you’re going to lower it crazy amounts, you’re better off with air-ride.
This is a car to be driven and pushed to the limits. It has been lowered on a set of BC Racing BR coil overs (Which we supply and fit, hit us up, good prices ?) which are perfect for a dual road and track application. Personally speaking, they are one of the best value for money coil overs you can buy. 30-way adjustable damping with camber-adjustable top-mounts can be aligned to your preferences and locked out for track usage. Hiding behind the ACS Type 2’s you will notice a Brembo big brake kit that has not only been applied to the front, but also the rear of the car.
The main talking point of this M3, if you’ve not already seen from the images, is that blaringly obvious front mount intercooler. Yes, this car has been supercharged, and yes I want it.
My initial thought is WOW. Forced induction and 3.2 litres of screaming S54 is wild, to say the least. These engines make good stock power, but the capability of an S54 block is unmatched with many comparing it to the legendary Toyota 2JZ-GTE. We supplied and fitted the ESS Supercharger system which has raised the power from 340hp to an eye watering 550hp. All this power running directly to the rear wheels, with little other than traction control in terms of driving aids, make this an absolute hoot to drive. At 8600RPM not only do you feel all of those 550 horses spinning up the rear wheels, your ears are greeted with the iconic rasp of the S54, delivered in this case via an Eisenmann exhaust system.
Take the iconic shape of the BMW E46 M3, add performance and visual upgrades from prestigious brands such as AC Schnitzer and ESS Tuning; combined with choice interior touches, you’re left with a car that is as provocative to look at as it is to drive.
The perfect recipe? We think it might be. What about you?