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
have had this car maintained by Barons of Farnborough and servicing costs
have been very reasonable due to this car having long service intervals.
3.2L straight 6, 343bhp
0-60 in 4.9 and 155 mph (limited)
and sold for: £20,000
Insurance: £900 with 3 year NC