BMW built their fast M3 version of the E46 3-series (1998-2006) in only two-door form…and the closest you could get to an M3 with 4 doors was the 330i ZHP. The ZHP (also available in coupe & vert) added 10 horsepower to the standard M54B30 inline-6, a 6-speed manual gearbox, stiffer suspension, and some fancy alcantara suede interior pieces (that flaked apart like mummy skin a few minutes after you left the dealer lot…according to most people). However, if you wanted a wagon, you had to settle for a basic 325i trim…so the seller of this next car swapped all of the ZHP goodies into a wagon body and the rest is family fun. Find this 2003 BMW 330iT ZHP swap offered for $13,000 in Fremont, CA via craigslist. Tip from Oakland Jeff.
I’m not one to go around making blanket statements like some kind of high horse ridin’ pundit…but here goes; the E46 M3 is the M3 you want to buy right now. Before we go any further, I want to state that this isn’t my car, although I have one that is very similar in spec/ color /condition /miles…give or take. Suffice to say, I know what I’m talking about when it comes to M3s and I know a little bit about the M3 market…more later. Find this 2003 BMW M3 E46 offered for $9,500 in Oldsmar, FL via eBay.
BMW’s E46 generation 3 series was sold from 1999 to 2005 and it was known for its well balanced chassis and smooth inline-6 engines. If you want a fast one, you can get the M3 version for less than the price of this next example…but it won’t have a 400+ horsepower V8 that’ll drink 87 […]
The E46 generation BMW 3-series was not that much different from the previous generation (E36) but it did take the same basic formula and just up the goodness factor. More power, more refined ride, and a better interior are only some of the benefits of the E46 generation, but one of the biggest changes was […]
If you’ve got $15k to spend on a small late model BMW sedan, you might be tempted to buy a 335i from the previous generation…which would be a good choice, but you might not be familiar with how cheap the E46 generation M3s have become. And while a newer 3-series might be similar on paper […]
People claim that something is -est all the time. The fastest. The meanest. The leanest. The beastiest. The cheesiest. The frostiest. The greenest. The chipotlest. The cleanest. The best. The sportiest. The raciest. But they are usually wrong — sometimes on purpose, sometimes through hyperbole, but I’m going to drop an EST on y’all that’ll be […]
BMWs E36 M3 was the steal of the market until a few years ago when the E46 M3 depreciated to the point where it makes more sense to step up to the 333 horsepower S54 powered beast that replaced the 240 horsepower S52 after the 1999 model year. Some people might complain about the SMG […]
If you want a late model car that looks good, goes fast, and gets lots of middle fingers from other drivers, look no further than an E46 M3. Seriously, I should know, I recently picked one up as a daily driver replacement for my 04 STI…and while the STI got interesting looks from people who […]
BMW’s E46 generation 3-series was an excellent driver’s car in the cheapest of trims, but it becomes a complete beast in the snarling inline-6 equipped M3 version. If you are looking for a topless 2+2 with a 6-speed manual that is brutally fast for less than $10k, it doesn’t get much better than an E46 […]
The BMW M3 was a good car in the 1990s, but the US version had a detuned inline-6 with almost 100 less horsepower as compared to its European counterpart. Thankfully that was fixed around Y2K with the release of the E46 generation BMW M3 with the full monster inline-6. Not only did the world not […]