The folks over at Jalopnik put together a list of the top 10 cars that could become a great buy for their owners. Among some classics in there, we can also spot a few BMW models.
E46 BMW M3
Listed as number 8 in the list is the E46 BMW M3. The BMW E46 M3 is regarded as one of the best drivers cars of all time, and they can now be had for under $25,000.
One of BMW fans’ favorite, the E46 chassis, made its debut in 2001. It was powered by the 3.2 liter S54 M-tuned engine. At the time of the car’s introduction, this engine had the highest specific output naturally aspirated of any engine ever made by BMW (except in the McLaren F1), producing 343 horsepower (256 kW) and 365 N·m (269 lb-ft). No sedan variant was offered for the E46 generation.
The E46 M3 was offered with a standard 6-speed Getrag transmission, but optionally came with a SMG drivelogic transmission (also known as the SMG II).
BMW 850 CSi
In the number 3 spot we can find the BMW 850 CSi. One of the most misunderstood of the “almost an M car” has to be the BMW 850CSi. Lots of debate circle around to this day whether BMW should have called the E31 850CSi an M8 or not. And with the recent introduction of BMW M’s “M Performance cars”, the 850CSi could very well have been a pre-cursor to those cars.
As a top-of-the-range sports tourer, the 850CSi took over from the prototype M8. The 850CSi used the same engine as the 850i, which was tuned so significantly that BMW assigned it a new engine code: S70B56. The modifications included a capacity increase to 5.6 liters and power increase to 380 PS (279 kW; 375 hp). The engine can be identified by the “Powered by M” inscription on the central cam cover between the two banks of cylinders.
The 850CSi’s modified suspension included stiffer springs and dampers and reduced the car’s ride height. The recirculating ball steering ratio was dropped 15% over the stock E31 setup. The 850Si also sported wider wheels, with the option of forged M Parallel wheels. The front and rear bumpers were reshaped for improved aerodynamic performance. Four round stainless steel exhaust tips replaced the square tips found on other models. The 6-speed manual gearbox was the only transmission option. In Europe all 850CSi’s came with four-wheel steering (AHK – Aktive Hinterachs-Kinematik).
Production ended in late 1996 because the S70 engine could not be modified to comply with new emission regulations without substantial re-engineering.
At the top of the list sits the DeTomaso Pantera, a car we test drove back in 2010.
The full list can be found over at Jalopnik.