BMW E46 M3 SMG – low miles + fabulous condition
There are many contenders for the Best M Car crown, but few would dispute the E46 M3s place at the top table. For many true enthusiasts, the E46 incarnation of this legendary car represents both the pinnacle and the end of an era. After the E46, BMW would move from their classic straight six configuration, leaving behind both an impressive list of achievements, and an impressive set of sales figures. Famously, the 3.2 litre S54 power plant set the world record for horsepower to displacement ratio – forcing 343 horses from 3200cc and thus exceeding the 10:1 marker. You may think that this type of thoroughbred performance would bring with it unreliability – but in fact the S54 has turned out to be one of the most robust performance engines ever made. Free revving, and giving immediate performance even at low revs (the E46 M3 will pull the car from under 20mph in 6th gear) – and of course pulling harder and harder right up to the red line in classic naturally aspirated M-style – the S54 is a sweet, addictive, and impressive motoring masterpiece.
But the secret to the E46 M3 is more than just an engine. A sublimely balanced car – achieving that holy grail of 50:50 weight distribution – with a wonderfully supple and communicative chassis, controlled by excellent hydraulic steering that seems to read your thoughts, a solid and crisp gear box with perfect ratios, all brilliantly presented to the driver in a light, classically appointed cockpit with an excellent seating position, comfortable and simple. Put all that together and you have the making of a true classic.
For some of us, it feels hard to believe that the E46 M3 is heading towards a quarter of a century old now. It may be because cars ‘age’ us in the same way they say policemen do. But more likely its because the E46 M3 was so far ahead of its time, and because it has aged so well. Perhaps its only with hindsight we can see just how brilliant a package the third gen M3 really was – and more and more enthusiasts are aware, especially those that owned one as a daily, back in the early 00s.
This particular SMG version is a real gem. Always kept in top notch condition, the previous owner decided to ask us to enhance the original – comprehensive – factory specification by retro fitting BMW supplied OEM options such as electric folding mirrors, electric rear blinds, cup holders, and folding leather armrest. But it’s the overall condition that really sets this low-miler apart from the rest. Sold by us a year ago, we’ve known the car for some time, and it’s always been one of our favourites. The previous 3 owners have always been just the sort of people you’d want to buy an M car from – enthusiasts who take that extra care to keep the originality and soul of the car intact. The paintwork is immaculate, showing no fade or tiredness, the interior is absolutely spotless (how do you keep it that good for so many miles?) and the owner has upgraded the wheels to CSL-style genuine OEM BMW alloys (sourced by ML). The history is absolutely spot on, and our technical team have carried out a full inspection – including the notorious ‘boot floor’, and are mighty impressed with the resulting report (no issues!).
For further information on this cracking M3, or to book a viewing – by appointment only please – contact our showroom team on 01825 740456 or email@example.com