The E46 M3 is one of the most adored the BMW M division ever made. It has a huge cult following and it may only be overshadowed solely by the E30 M3 which is another highly sought-after model. If history is anything to go by, prices for the E46 M3 models should go up in a few years as it becomes a collector’s item, but in the meantime, people around the world prefer to drive them rather than turn them into garage queens and even tune them into oblivion.
One such example is the car in the footage below. In standard guise, the E46 M3 is a fast enough car. Sure, by today’s standards it may seem slow, but it doesn’t feel that way from behind the wheel. The S54 3.2-liter straight six engine makes 343 HP which allows it to reach 100 km/h (62 mph) from standstill in 5.1 seconds. It’s slower than an M240i today but, as I said, it doesn’t really matter. This car though, doesn’t use the S54 engine.
Instead, the owner went to a tuning shop to get some more power out of it. How much? How about three times more? The tuner claims this thing develops 1,045 PS right now and they included some footage of a dyno run with it, at the end of the video, just in case someone claims otherwise. However, the new results didn’t include using the S54 engine but a different mill, which is also a straight six.
Over time you probably heard of the M50 engines. They were built in the 1990s and powered cars like the E34 5 Series, for example, and even the E36 M3, to some extent. That’s because the S50 engine was based largely on the M50. Why did the tuner use this mill? Because tuning it into oblivion is cheaper as it is less complicated compared to the S54. The end result can be admired in the clip below, where the E46 M3 manages a trap speed of 281 km/h at one point. Not bad for a sleeper.