Ask almost any car enthusiast which generation of BMW M3 is best and the answer will almost unanimously be the E46-gen M3. It’s almost impossible to overstate just how good the E46 BMW M3 was and still is. However, many BMW fans have, unfortunately, never had the chance to experience one. Which is why this new video from AutoTopNL is so good.
In this video, we get to see a POV drive video of a relatively stock E46 BMW M3; driving a bit on the road and hitting the Autobahn. Most videos of the E46 M3 feature modded cars, making bigger horsepower and using upgraded suspension. So it’s nice to see a video of a seemingly stock car, just the way it was built back in the early ’00s. Well, mostly.
Under the hood is a 3.2 liter naturally-aspirated inline-six making 333 horsepower. It was a mega engine at the time because it made more than 100 horsepower per liter without forced induction. At the time, Porsche and BMW were competing a bit for such specs and Porsche didn’t feel it was possible to make such an engine without it becoming too unreliable. I guess Porsche was wrong for a change.
Not only did it make a great amount of power; not too much, not too little; but it also made a sensational sound. Even today, the E46 M3 sounds brilliant, in that old-school BMW straight-six way. Listening to that sonorous ‘six wail to its redline over and over again is quite addictive. In this video, not only do we get to see and hear just that but the driver holds it at redline for some time, letting us hear that incredible engine (though, it doesn’t seem wise to do to an older engine).
The E46 BMW M3 is the stuff off legends and is one of the greatest sports cars of its size/price of all time. If you’ve never had the chance to drive one, check this video out.