From a beach near Antibes in the Cote d’Azur comes an intriguing photoshoot featuring the all-new BMW M2 and the E46 M3. While the M2 was often referenced in the same sentence as its spiritual predecessor – the E30 M3 – it’s the E46 M3 which is closer in character to the M2. Both cars are similar in size, shape, engine size, power, weight and look, and they both have a large following of BMW fans.

The BMW M2 uses a 3.0 liter turbocharged I6 engine, that develops 365 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque, while the E46 used a 3.2 liter naturally-aspirated I6 engine, that made 333 hp and 262 lb-ft of torque.

BMW E46 M3 vs BMW M2 15 750x500

Both cars actually weight about the same, 3,400 lbs give or take some options, which gives the M2 a better power-to-weight advantage. But both cars are at around the same level of power and performance for their respective times.

BMW E46 M3 vs BMW M2 2 750x500

However, they aren’t exactly the same, and the BMW M2 does differentiate itself from the E46 M3 a bit. In terms of performance, the BMW M2 is far faster, thanks to its aforementioned power-to-weight advantage. 0-60 mph for the M2 comes in around 4.3 seconds with a manual transmission, while the same sprint takes the E46 M3 4.7 seconds to complete.


Over time, both cars are likely to be referenced as classics and they will both find a special place in the heart of BMW enthusiasts.

Let’s have a look at the photography by Julien Hubert Photographie.