In order to answer a truly interesting question, the guys from Car Throttle set up a mini series, focusing on a legendary car on its own. I’m not talking about the E92 M3 but instead about a more common model, a BMW E46 330d Touring. That used to be an incredibly popular car back in the day, one that transported hundreds of thousand, if not millions of Europeans across the continent over the years and for someone to turn it into a racing, a lot of work had to be put in.
But what is the question, you may ask. Well, the guys were curious about how far they could push the E46 330d’s performance envelope without having to invest too much. Could it beat a proper M car, from a generation later, on a technical track? Well, the answer can be found in the last episode of the series, posted below and, to summarize things – if you don’t have 14 minutes to watch the whole thing – yes, it can.
The car was modified in a number of ways though. From installing new dampers and springs, to new wheels and tires, stripping out the interior, installing new brakes and tuning the engine, a lot has been done to the family hauler. From the get go the guys had to shave just a bit over 3 seconds on the track to win this challenge and they did. The biggest time saver was the change in tires and wheels and I still think there was more to be done there.
However, the mini-series also wanted to keep costs under control and that’s why they went with Nankang tires and not something better like a Michelin or maybe Pirelli set of tires. Nevertheless, when it was all said and done, the car did it and it’s quite an amazing feat for a BMW that’s this old.