Video: Best-Sounding M3 Ever?

Videos | October 27th, 2010 by 19
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“Obioban”, a member of M3Forum managed to get his E46 BMW M3 on the front page of Jalopnik. Some may wonder why…apparently, this is one …

“Obioban”, a member of M3Forum managed to get his E46 BMW M3 on the front page of Jalopnik. Some may wonder why…apparently, this is one of the best-sounding M3s ever, so we decided to have a look it.

From the get-go, the E46 M3 brings back the memories of the naturally aspirated straight-six engine. Codenamed S54B32, the 3.2 liter straight six cylinder engine “died” when the last E85 Z4 rolled out of the production lane in 2008. The S54B32 also powers one of the most popular M cars in the BMW’s history: the E46 M3.

The S54B32 evolved from the S52B32 engine which powered the E36 M3 in the 90’s. It outputs 343 horsepower, 269 lb-ft of torque at 4,900 rpm. The engine was shared among the Z3 and Z4 M Roadsters and Coupe and it was one of the most admired engines by the BMW fans.

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Video after the jump

Most likely the M3 seen above has had some work done around the mufflers and probably a chip under the hood, but regardless if it’s the best-sounding M3 ever, the car does indeed sound quite impressive.

19 responses to “Video: Best-Sounding M3 Ever?”

  1. Ted Spahr says:

    This might be the best sounding N/A E46, but the best belongs to a gentleman named Ravi. HPF Stg 2 turbo and the most devilish sound you’ve ever heard come out the exaust.

  2. Murph says:

    The biggest aural upgrade he made (from what I can derive from YouTube) is that he upgraded the airbox to that of the M3 CSL. That’s the sound of mechanical harmony.

  3. Cq says:

    I think my 2007 335 coupe with active autowerke processor and magna flow cat back sound lots deeper and better…….. Just my 2 cents…. Oh I almost forgot… Faster with 400 hp and 395 pounds feet of torque…….

  4. Joey says:

    “The S54B32 evolved from the S52B32 engine which powered the E36 M3 in the 90’s.”

    This is an incorrect statement. The S54B32 EVOLVED from the S50B32 that was ONLY available in the Non US 96-99 E36 M3’s (S50B30 for 95). The S52b32 is not even a real M3 engine. The US E36 M3 got screwed here. No ITB’s, headers, etc..

    See for yourself the difference here:

    US S52:

    Euro S50 (true daddy of the S54)

  5. Doug says:

    109k miles?? not driving like that the whole time.

    this llooks an awful lot like connecticut

    • Murph says:

      The M54/S54 lumps are pretty strong once they sorted out the connecting rod issues with a handful of the first few production E46 M3’s in late 2001/early 2002. After that, those engines have been pretty solid. I’ve had that reaffirmed by a buddy who is a BMW tech.

      • Doug says:

        That’s right the engine is steel, isn’t it? That would be substantially more durable. Are most of the mechanicals steel as well, or just the engine block?

  6. Andrew says:

    It does have 109k miles, and I can personally vouch that that is him taking it easy. He drives it hard all the time.

  7. Uxel says:

    thank you guys for this article and the video! brilliant sound+car

  8. Tom says:

    oh hellllllls yes! LOVE

  9. e30e says:

    It does not have an s14 with a dtm air box so NO its not the best sounding m3 ever.

  10. Dave says:

    What roads are you driving on, they look like Stamford, CT and the Merritt Parkway, maybe even Westover Road?

  11. billmilo says:

    The best sounding M3 ever is the Loaded CSL. You-tube it

  12. wing chun says:

    you need to listen to the rumble of a frozen black m3…sounds better

  13. Roland Renno says:

    The S54B32 is a gem. We’ll miss it big time. Such engine reminds me of the McLarenF1 LM with the masterpiece BMW S70 engine. It revs insanely and sounds like an monster screamer. Incredible sound for that engine, no matter what modifications have been made to it.

  14. e36 evo says:

    hi there its all sounds good but it was the s50b32 engine was father of all not the s52b32 american market m3

  15. e36 evo says:

    the best sounding bmw m3 is the e36 m3 3.0l or 3.2l they do sound reminder of bmw m20b25

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