Slapping a turbocharger on a naturally aspirated engine is the fastest way to unlock considerably more power. Just ask Viktor, a Bulgarian fellow who bought a BMW E46 that had been modified by its previous owner. The 3 Series Coupe started out in life as a 325i, but the days when it made around 180 horsepower are long gone.
Instead, the M54 now packs nearly twice more punch than the standard inline-six. Indeed, it’s been taken to approximately 350 hp to surpass the M3 and almost match the mythical CSL. The torque figure is shrouded in mystery, but you can rest assured it has seen a healthy bump over the series 245 Nm (181 lb-ft).
Although nothing beats the soundtrack of a naturally aspirated mill, the turbocharger whistle is not half bad either. According to the owner, forced induction turned out to be a win-win situation as fuel economy also improved after adding the turbo. There’s obviously more low-end torque now, making the 325i feel peppier without having to rev the 2.5-liter engine too hard.
The E46 Turbo Serves As Daily Driver
Aside from embracing turbocharging, the E46 adopts a coilover suspension, EBC brakes, and a remapped ECU. It retains the stock five-speed manual gearbox and remains comfortable despite the massive power gains. The owner uses it as a daily driver, complete with a child seat in the back. It might not be the most sophisticated build you’ve ever seen, but it’s cheap power without ruining the driving experience.
Save for the lowered ride height and the aftermarket wheels, the E46 is a bit of a sleeper. These cars remain affordable and adding a turbo won’t break the bank, making them ideal for a budget-conscious enthusiast. Getting one with a stick shift just adds to the whole experience, enhanced by the fact cars were much lighter back then.
Source: LivingLifeFast / YouTube