E46 M3


The E46 M3 has won back the die hard M series fans from the E30. The E36 wasn't all bad with an extra 100 brake and 2 more cylinders (321 bhp from the Evolution model) but unfortunately chassis dynamics suffered from debatable feedback, mainly because of over assisted power steering. The E46 has managed to achieve the ultimate driving machine name once again and BMW and the M division have brought back the muscle car look from the E30 with flared arches and now a bonnet bulge for added aggression. This was missing from the E36, which was very easily kitted up from a 318is, just different wheels and bumpers were required and passers by could be mistaken. In standard guise the latest M3 pushes out 343bhp from it's 3.2 litre straight six. This particular model has adopted some of AC Schnitzer's trademark tuning upgrades, including, full suspension kit, front splitter and rear defuser. These cars are overloaded with toys and features - sports button to sharpen throttle response, DSC and traction control if you are feeling adventurous, illuminated boxes around the revometer to indicate when the engine is fully warmed up, quad exhausts (first for the M3) which provoke you to squeeze the throttle further everytime, 8200 rpm anyone?! Some other options are the Professional Nav system featuring an integrated TV, Sat Nav, CD, tape, radio and onboard computer.   



This M3 had nearly every extra available; full leather electric seats with memory, satellite navigation, parking sensors, Zenon lights, 19 inch alloys, digital climate control, Harmon Kardon upgrade, TV, 6 disk changer.


A must is the 1200 mile service and check up. As usual look for FBMWSH or specialist as these are relatively new cars with some advanced technology that even the most knowledgeable of independents won’t understand or have the tools for the job. Check the condition of the wheels, major curbing may have effected other areas of the car and a full KDS alignment and alloy refurbishment can be costly, a problem with large alloys and low profiles as standard. Check all the electrics, climate control, electric seats etc or these could provoke spending in the long term. These engines require more regular oil top ups than the usual 3 series so a good sign is seeing a small can of Castrol in the boot or sellers garage.


I have had this car maintained by Barons of Farnborough and servicing costs have been very reasonable due to this car having long service intervals.



Engine: 3.2L straight 6, 343bhp

Performance: 0-60 in 4.9 and 155 mph (limited)

Time owned: 02/2007

Bought and sold for: £20,000

Mileage owned: 65,000

Parts/Servicing costs: £1,000+

Insurance: £900 with 3 year NC