Look up the adjective “complete” in the dictionary, and you will notice two definitions.
1. Having all the necessary or appropriate parts.
2. (often used for emphasis) To the greatest extent or degree; total.
What you see before you is quite possibly the ultimate manifestation of a “complete” BMW E46 M3. Rather than simply allowing us to make this determination for you, however, consider the inclusive scope involved with this build. Beginning with an option-loaded 2004 SMG in Jet Black with Imola Red interior, it was quickly determined that the focus would be on stance and power output. Pure grunt is nothing without a capable chassis to effectively put it down to the road, and the E46 chassis can handle plenty of steam.
Most visually obvious is the perfect ride height provided by the Bilstein PSS coilover units and those meaty Volk TE37 Super Lap wheels with Diamond Black finish in aggressive 18×9.5” fitment. Filling out the wheel arches with tenacity are a set of Michelin Pilot Supersport 265/35/18 tires, although we suspect it may be more like a 30-section rear sidewall by the time the owner gets done burning off the excess. Rounding out the chassis modifications are the AKG Red RTabs, Bimmerworld FCABs, AKG Red subframe bushings and TMS rear subframe reinforcement – all of which are a lot of letters that add up to a ridiculous amount car control and an innate sense of road holding when behind the wheel.
Trodding on the loud pedal tends to catch unsuspecting onlookers off guard, as this is no mundane, humdrum inline six. Lurking under the hood, in all its force-fed glory, is a fully built S54 with forged pistons and lower compression to accommodate the Active Autowerke C38-91 Stage 2+ supercharger kit. With 14psi on tap, this custom-assembled powerplant puts approximately 520 raging horsepower to the rear wheels, usually resulting in a ferocious tire-melting party, followed by neck-snapping acceleration when grip is discovered.
Allowing all of this combustion to breathe easily is an Active Autowerke Gen 7 manifold and charge piping, complete fuel system, and AA’s proprietary methanol injection setup – all professionally tuned and calibrated. A Southbend ceramic clutch keeps matters tied together when gears are required to mesh together. To route spent gases out the back, an Active Autowerke header leads into a Bimmerworld 3.5″ resonated race exhaust, exiting just below a Bimmerworld carbon fiber rear diffuser.
For all the fire and brimstone happening under the surface, the rest of the exterior is surprisingly restrained, in keeping with good clean taste. The front kidney grilles are black, a pair of quad projector headlights from Lightwerks cut through the detritus, the reflectors have been paint-matched, and a shade of tint covers the corner lenses, but the remainder is all BMW. Inside, a custom fabricated panel allows a striking array of VEI wideband, AFR and boost gauges to mount perfectly in the ashtray. Billet SMG shift paddles complement the OEM brushed aluminum trim, and Euro coding abounds.
What, then, are we to make of this ravishing creation? While we are indeed proud that all work except the engine build was completed here by PSI, it should be mentioned that the owner, one of our team, might be persuaded to part with his tour de force. There exists a paltry 83k miles on the car itself, and scarcely 6,000 miles on the rebuilt motor/supercharger/meth/fuel system/bushings. Does E46 M3 life get much more complete than this? It is a question to be pondered, given the complexity of the BMW arena at large.
Complete or not, we must concede that this amazing machine is truly an individual among the masses, and represents creativity rather than conformity. Such deliberations are rarely straightforward. We don’t often lapse into existential conversations here at the PSI shop, but when we do, a beautifully built car like this one reminds us once again that what really matters is our own personal absolutes. And as the sun sets and daylight fades over another epic generation of BMW’s vaunted sports car, one truth remains: we absolutely love this M3!
2004 BMW M3
Imola Red interior
Electric lumbar support
Cold Weather Package w/o headlight washers
Harmon Kardon Audio
AKG Red RTabs
AKG Red Subframe bushings
TMS rear subframe reinforcement
Bilstein PSS Coilovers
Active Autowerke Built S54 with forged pistons, supercharger spec.
Active Autowerke C38-91 Stage 2+ supercharger kit @ 14psi
Active Autowerke Gen 7 manifold and charge piping
Active Autowerke complete fuel system
Active Autowerke methanol injection
Southbend ceramic clutch
Active Autowerke header
Bimmerworld 3.5″ race exhaust (Resonated)
Bimmerworld carbon fiber rear diffuser
Custom VEI wideband AFR/boost gauges in ashtray
Motorsport fan clutch
Billet SMG Paddle shifters
Lightwerks FX-R Quad Projector
Black kidney grills
Color matched front reflectors
Euro coding for window remote control
Volk TE37 Superlaps 18×9.5 ET22 in Diamond Black
15mm rear spacer (actual offset ET7)
Michelin Pilot Supersport 265/35/18