All M3s are good, but this one is special – E46 M3

BMW M3 | January 3rd, 2016 by 16
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The E46 M3 may be the best value M3. Due to its age, 2000-2006, they aren’t very expensive and can be found with decent mileage. …

The E46 M3 may be the best value M3. Due to its age, 2000-2006, they aren’t very expensive and can be found with decent mileage. The E46 M3 is often regarded as one of the most balanced and fun to drives M3. Its proportions and naturally aspirated engine are often praised, and the track handling has been a staple in the automotive world for over a decade now.

Despite being almost a decade old now, the E46 is still one of the better looking BMWs of all time. It has muscular wheel arches, the right stance and a great profile. It’s simple yet exciting and elegant yet aggressive.

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The E46 M3 came with a 3.2 liter inline-six engine developing 333 hp and 262 lb-ft of torque. It could hit 0-60 in 5.1 seconds and had an electronically controlled top speed of 155 mph. The I6 in the E46 M3 is one of the better one’s BMW ever made. With its Double VANOS variable valve timing and 7,900 rpm redline, the 3.2 liter screams through the rev range with smooth and linear power. It also makes a fantastic sound doing it.

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The E46 M3 came with two transmission options. One being the SMG automated manual with paddle shifters and a 6-Speed manual.

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The new M3 and M4 sound very good. But they’ve got nothing on the naturally aspirated glory of the 3.2 liter in the E46 M3. It has such a classic BMW sound to it.

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A special mention goes to the E46 M3 CSL that borrowed weight-reduction technologies from BMW’s stint in Formula One and holds a pivotal presence in the company’s heritage.

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16 responses to “All M3s are good, but this one is special – E46 M3”

  1. Rob K says:

    I wish I could get my hands on a new E46. That would be a dream come true.

    I still remember when I was in high school and this first came out. I was drooling all over while sitting on my computer and looking at it. I remember thinking “By the time I can afford this I won’t be able to get my hands on one.” Buying a 10-15 year old car will surely carry along some defects.

  2. Kaisuke971 says:

    In my humble opinion, the E46 has nothing on its predecessor. When i think M3, i think E36 3.2l.

    • Remastered Zero says:

      The e46 is a e36 on steroids, it uses a recycled but improved subframe and a improved engine, so a e46 is a improved e36.

  3. […] some time. It marks a return to form for BMW as it gets back to making cars in the same mold as the E46 M3. Fans have been waiting for the M2 for a very long time and they only need to wait a few more days […]

  4. […] the BMW M3 and M4 than ever before. When the M3 was at the top of its game and popularity, with the E46 model, the only real competitor was the Audi RS4. Even Mercedes-Benz’s C55 AMG wasn’t […]

  5. […] cars more than anything else, so they appreciate the sharp handling of more nimble cars like the E46 3 Series or maybe a Z3. These fans would appreciate their older BMWs more so than maybe a newer one, thanks […]

  6. […] cars some-more than anything else, so they conclude a pointy doing of some-more nimble cars like a E46 3 Series or maybe a Z3. These fans would conclude their comparison BMWs some-more so than maybe a newer […]

  7. […] which is why you’ll see many different combinations of options in older Bimmers, like E36 and E46 models. However, that sort of customization seems to be missing from BMW’s current business […]

  8. […] E46 M3 is one of the most fun to drive M cars ever built by the Garching wizards. Its looks, handling and […]

  9. […] E46 M3 is one of the most fun to drive M cars ever built by the Garching wizards. Its looks, handling and […]

  10. […] the BMW M3 and M4 are excellent cars, the M2 could be the spiritual successor to cars like the E46 M3, cars that BMW fans love more than most […]

  11. […] When looking at the 1 Series M, we get a very good look at exactly where the M2 has come from. It’s almost as if we’re looking at a before and after image when looking at the pair of them. The 1 Series M is the car that inspired the idea of the M2, as it reintroduced BMW to small, punchy and lightweight sports cars in the same air as the E46 M3. […]

  12. […] the E30 M3. After the E30 was the E36, which was bigger, faster and more capable in everyway. The E46 3 Series followed suit, growing in both size and performance and, most importantly, sales, as the E46 went […]

  13. […] when the BMW M2 was in the works, there were endless comparisons between it and the E46 M3. When the M2 debuted, many fans rejoiced, as they felt that BMW was going back to its roots and […]

  14. […] and performance numbers keep increasing and becoming more and more extreme. Back in the day, a BMW M car only made about 200-300 hp, so it was relatively easy to handle in bad weather with winter tires. […]

  15. […] numbers sustain increasing and becoming much more and much more extreme. Spine in the day, a BMW M car just earned regarding 200-300 hp, so it was relatively basic to deal with in unsatisfactory weather […]

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