There may not be a more coveted BMW than the E46 M3. Its status as potentially the best-driving Bimmer of all time is almost irrefutable. However, it’s also interesting because it’s not as if every BMW enthusiast has ever driven one. As the years pass on, and the E46 M3 gets both older and more valuable, fewer and fewer enthusiasts are going to have the chance to drive it. So videos like this one from Doug DeMuro could be the only way for many enthusiasts to get up close and personal with it.
Older BMW enthusiasts will know the E46 M3’s quirks and features back-to-front. However, younger generations, who weren’t old enough to drive until well after the M3 was discontinued and lack the eye-watering funds it takes to get one, don’t. Which is what’s so fun about this video. You or I might know all of the things DeMuro points out already but it’s fun to watch him “discover” them, as if we’re seeing the car for the first time, through other enthusiasts’ eyes.
We all know the basics. The E46 M3 has a 3.2-liter naturally aspirated inline-six with 333 horsepower (more than one hundred horsepower per liter from an N/A engine in the early 2,000s!) and either a six-speed manual or six-speed SMG. Power only went to the rear—no M xDrive here—and its steering was still of the hydraulic kind. What you might not know are all the funky little details, the stuff you’d only know if you’ve sat in the car, combed through it, and driven it.
For instance, the E46 M3 was the first BMW to have an active redline, which would be low while the engine was cold and get higher as it warmed up. Yellow and red lights at the end of the tachometer would indicate the redline as it warmed up. Another cool feature is the rear quarter windows. I haven’t seen a coupe with rear quarter windows that open in ages and not only does the E46 M3 have such windows, they’re power operated, which is cool.
There are more interesting things to learn about the E46 M3 in this video, so check it out below.