If you’re a firm believer that BMW peaked in the 2000s, the E46 is surely amongst your favorite models. Mind you, this isn’t a run-of-the-mill 3 Series from the sedan’s fourth generation since we’re dealing with a B3 S. It’s a more sophisticated iteration of the 330i that was pampered by ALPINA. It was sold as a coupe, wagon, convertible, and as this sedan.

The bluetiful sports saloon was driven at full tilt on an unrestricted section of the German highway. This 2004 ALPINA B3 S is a relatively low-mileage example since it has just under 98,000 kilometers (nearly 61,000 miles) on the clock. It appears to be in excellent condition and comes with a naturally aspirated inline-six that sounds positively glorious.

The 3.3-liter engine made 305 horsepower and 362 Newton-meters (267 pound-feet) of torque without forced induction. We get to hear the rev-happy “S52B32” engine scream beyond the 7,000 rpm mark on the Autobahn. Sure, this ALPINA B3 S is not impressively quick by 2024 standards in a world of performance sedans with turbochargers or electric motors. Nevertheless, it’s still going strong, some 20 years later.

It did 0 to 62 mph (100 km/h) in 6.4 seconds while the 62 to 124 mph (100 to 200 km/h) sprint took 17 seconds. The quarter mile was completed in 14.3 seconds and the half mile in 22.3 seconds. Flat out, the lovely-sounding 3er managed to reach 162 mph (260 km/h), according to the car’s speedometer. However, the real speed measured via a smartphone app using real-time GPS data was slightly lower, at 155 mph (250 km/h).

A manual gearbox would’ve made this ALPINA B3 S pretty much perfect. Even so, the car has aged gracefully, and the smooth-running engine has an intoxicating sound. Fans of analog performance cars are missing the era before big screens took over, and the E46 in general is deeply missed by purists.

Source: AutoTopNL / YouTube