Have you ever wondered what would happen if you took a BMW X3 and swapped its engine with the legendary E46 M3’s? Well, wonder no more, because someone actually did it and the result is a hilarious Frankenstein’s monster of a car. The E46 M3 is widely regarded as one of the best M cars ever made, with its naturally aspirated S54 3.2-liter inline-six engine producing 343 horsepower and 365 Nm of torque. The X3, on the other hand, is a compact crossover SUV that was never meant to be a performance machine. But that didn’t stop a crazy enthusiast from combining the two and creating a one-of-a-kind beast.
The project started with a first generation E83 BMW X3, before the owner decided to swap it with the M3’s engine, along with its six-speed manual transmission. The owner says the rod bearings and VANOS were serviced at the time of swap. Currently, the donor engine has less than 140,000 miles on it, but overall, the BMW X3 has 213,000 miles.
Of course, other modifications were done:
- Aftermarket headers
- Custom oil pump/pan
- BC Coil over suspension
- Catless exhaust system
- ASA wheels
- Apple Carplay infotainment system
- Black interior swapped
- M3 steering wheel
The most interesting one is the conversion of the BMW X3 to a rear-wheel drive setup. Although, the ad says that the setup could be returned to all-wheel drive if needed. As per the seller, the car is now only marginally heavier than an E46 M3 convertible with the weight of a passenger. Additionally, they’ve ingeniously connected the toggle for the S54’s “Sport Mode” throttle mapping to the X3’s SOS switch. Talk about neat stuff…
The X3 M3 (or M3 X3?) is a ridiculous but awesome creation that defies logic and common sense. It’s a car that makes no sense but also makes perfect sense. It’s a car that will make you laugh and cry at the same time. It’s a car that only a true BMW fan could love and appreciate. And it’s less than $20,000, so that might make it a fun project for someone.