With a few exceptions such as the Audi R8 and the Lamborghini Huracan or Aventador, naturally aspirated engines are a thing of the past in Europe. Forced induction has allowed automakers to squeeze out more power from their engines and comply with stricter emissions regulations. While this may look like a win-win situation, there’s something magical about the linear power delivery of a NA.
For those who are not longing for the ol’ days and just want more oomph from a modern classic, turbocharging or supercharging is the way to go. Take for example this BMW 3 Series Coupe from the E46 generation in the 330i guise, with its straight-six M54 engine no longer naturally aspirated. German tuner Infinitas has cammed in a supercharger to extract an additional 69 horsepower and 60 Newton-meters (44 pound-feet) of torque.
The 3.0-liter unit now pumps out a nice round figure of 300 hp along with a respectable 360 Nm (266 lb-ft), thus getting the 330i closer to the levels of output delivered by the M3 during the early 2000s. You wouldn’t be able to tell it hides a secret under the hood as the 3 Series Coupe is all-original on the outside, and in great condition, we might add.
The cabin is also in nice shape, save for some minor wear and tear noticeable on the door armrest, but that’s to be expected from a car that has been in use for two decades. You can easily tell the engine packs more punch than before, and corroborated with the manual gearbox, this E46 is a real hoot. Living near the Autobahn has its perks as you can push the pedal to the metal without having to look at the speedometer.
Doing nearly 170 mph (270+ km/h) is nothing to write home about, even for a car built in 2001, but you get there significantly quicker thanks to the supercharger. The engine pulls strongly through the gears and gives the impression it always has a reserve of power at the driver’s disposal. We’d still go with the original NA version, but it’s completely understandable why some would opt for a supercharger.
[Source: TopSpeedGermany / YouTube]