The CSL will go down in history as the peak E46 version made by BMW but someone dreamed big and created the ultimate M3. This rear-wheel-drive sports car has gone through an engine transplant as the original naturally aspirated inline-six S54 3.2-liter engine has made way for the all-mighty S85. Yes, it’s the 5.0-liter V10 from the M5 E60 and E61, the only ten-cylinder engine ever put in a BMW road.

Rocking an engine even larger than the V8 installed in the ultra-rare M3 GTR, this extraordinary E46 underwent another major change. While BMW sold this car with a six-speed manual gearbox and the much-criticized SMG-II, you’re looking at an M3 E46 with a dual-clutch, automatic transmission. As a refresher, this ten-cylinder powerhouse in the M5s we mentioned earlier was linked to either a six-speed manual or the SMG-III.

Not only is the car properly fast even by 2023 standards, but it’s also one of the best-sounding M3s ever made. We can see the hugely desirable E46 going at full throttle on the Autobahn on a section of the German highway that doesn’t have any speed restrictions. With around 500 horsepower on tap, it effortlessly hits speeds of up to 300 km/h (186 mph).

The M division makes an M3 nowadays with even more power but a G80 is considerably heavier than the E46. In addition, nothing can beat the thrilling experience delivered by a naturally aspirated engine, especially if we’re talking about the S85. The big V10 revs to over 8,000 rpm, which is hard to match in the age of forced induction. It seems to be working harmoniously with the DCT in one of the most desirable BMWs we’ve ever seen.

One can imagine it must’ve been tricky to shoehorn an engine with four more cylinders than the original and then replace the gearbox as well. All the work paid off since this M3 E46 is an absolute hoot when it’s unleashed on the Autobahn.

Source: AutoTopNL / YouTube