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E46 M3 (2001-2006) Engine: S54 - Max Hp: 333 hp at 7,900 rpm / 262 lb/ft at 4,900 rpm
Total Produced: 45,000+ - Years Produced: 2001 to 2006.


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Old Wed, Nov-13-2019, 07:09:17 PM   #21
Steve M3
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Default Re: Why You Need to Buy an E46 M3 Right Now

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Originally Posted by bmw m3 s50 View Post
The e46 and could everything the e36 can do but better. The USA e36 m3 was a 325i/328i on steroids compared to the e46 being a proper m car as the e30 was.
The E90 can do everything the E46 can do but better. Are you actively shopping for one?

Don't get me wrong, I like the E46, in fact I have two of them, but I really enjoy my E36 for reasons that won't show up on a tech sheet. I'm well aware that the engine isn't of typical M car heritage, but that's why I'm suggesting to replace it with a S54
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Old Wed, Nov-13-2019, 07:15:47 PM   #22
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Default Re: Why You Need to Buy an E46 M3 Right Now

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The E90 can do everything the E46 can do but better. Are you actively shopping for one?

Don't get me wrong, I like the E46 and have two of them, but I really enjoy my E36 for reasons that won't show up on a tech sheet. I'm well aware that the engine isn't of typical M car heritage, but that's why I'm suggesting to replace it with a S54
Ehhhh I would not go that far, The e90's were significantly larger when compared to the e46 more so then the e46 to e36. The e90's are a about the time of an e39 series. The size is what kinda kills the e90 for me. Maybe for a luxury go out to dinner car but not for a fun weekend car. The only thing that I really like about the e90 was the high revving s65 V8.

I currently have two e46's. While I am talking up the e46, I still hold the e36 in high regards. The chassis was great and was more of a raw compact car compared to the e46.
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Old Wed, Nov-13-2019, 07:16:33 PM   #23
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Default Why You Need to Buy an E46 M3 Right Now

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Originally Posted by Steve M3 View Post
The E90 can do everything the E46 can do but better. Are you actively shopping for one?



Don't get me wrong, I like the E46 and have two of them, but I really enjoy my E36 for reasons that won't show up on a tech sheet. I'm well aware that the engine isn't of typical M car heritage, but that's why I'm suggesting to replace it with a S54


Much agreed. There is a raw nature that the e36 possesses that the e46 just doesnít have. When i was shopping years ago for my e36, I thought an e46 could satisfy my need for both, but I went back and got into another e36 to fill that void. Thereís just something about the car, and itís most certainly not explainable via a spec sheet. Iíve driven both of mine back to back, and they each have unique character that itís hard to say one is definitively better than the other. Just different. YMMV


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Old Wed, Nov-13-2019, 07:20:49 PM   #24
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Default Re: Why You Need to Buy an E46 M3 Right Now

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Originally Posted by Steve M3 View Post
Both cars are awesome, but an E36 with a S54 would be the perfect all around M3.
Stop giving away our secrets, friendo!

Ignore Steve M3.

You guys are totally right the E46M is superior in every way! Please, stick with the E46M platform.

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Old Wed, Nov-13-2019, 07:34:09 PM   #25
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Default Re: Why You Need to Buy an E46 M3 Right Now

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Originally Posted by nholmes View Post
Stop giving away our secrets, friendo!

Ignore Steve M3.

You guys are totally right the E46M is superior in every way! Please, stick with the E46M platform.

I dont disagree with your camp that e36 is probably more fun with the lightweight and the rawness of the driving experience etc. In fact i do feel frequently that my e46 is a bit heavy around the corners at times.
But I think when youre comparing between e46 and the e36 platforms, the difference is close enough that personal preferences become more important. At least to me, the e46 m3 hits just the right balance between rawness and livability where its hits the goldilocks zone.
I'd love to have both and enjoy the e36's agility whenever i want. But i think i would end up using it primarily for the track. And i would not be as enthusiastic to use as a daily as i am using the e46.
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Old Wed, Nov-13-2019, 07:43:17 PM   #26
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Default Re: Why You Need to Buy an E46 M3 Right Now

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Originally Posted by Steve M3 View Post
Don't get me wrong, I like the E46, in fact I have two of them, but I really enjoy my E36 for reasons that won't show up on a tech sheet. I'm well aware that the engine isn't of typical M car heritage, but that's why I'm suggesting to replace it with a S54
Eh.

I've had three e36 M3s, including an s50b32 car (which is pretty close to doing an S54 swap-- and certainly a real M engine). I find the e46 to be a worked over/upgraded/improved e36, consistently.

The e9X is a different thing-- larger, different suspension geometry, etc. I found our e9X more similar in character to our e39 M5 than our e46 M3.

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Originally Posted by yhp2009 View Post
I dont disagree with your camp that e36 is probably more fun with the lightweight and the rawness of the driving experience etc. In fact i do feel frequently that my e46 is a bit heavy around the corners at times.
But I think when youre comparing between e46 and the e36 platforms, the difference is close enough that personal preferences become more important. At least to me, the e46 m3 hits just the right balance between rawness and livability where its hits the goldilocks zone.
I'd love to have both and enjoy the e36's agility whenever i want. But i think i would end up using it primarily for the track. And i would not be as enthusiastic to use as a daily as i am using the e46.
IMO the e46 is a more "raw" car than the e36. Stiffer suspension, more funny noises (M clunk), more cantankerous engine, etc. The e36 is the second most civil M3 IMO (most civil being the e9X).

I think people get fooled into thinking the e46 M3 is less "raw" than the e36 because the interior is so much nicer. But, interior trimming is just a veneer.

The weight difference between the US e36 M3 and e46 M3 is almost entirely the engine and transmission. I'm pretty sure every US e36 owner would prefer an S54, and the 5mt was my single least favorite thing about my street e36 M3 (highway is VERY buzzy). For context, the euro e36 M3 (s50b32 and 6mt) curb weight was 3340 lbs.

And the exterior dimensional difference between the two cars is pretty much the fender flares-- again, does any e36 M3 owner not with BMW had done a factory wide body on the M3?
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Last edited by Obioban; Wed, Nov-13-2019 at 07:51:21 PM.
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Old Wed, Nov-13-2019, 07:55:29 PM   #27
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Default Re: Why You Need to Buy an E46 M3 Right Now

I actually got to interview the BMW design engineers while doing the e90 launch for BMW and they actually defined the e46 as a 'perfect' e36. They took the e36 design philosophy to the limit of what they could do. The e90 they termed a near complete redesign. I always found that interesting.
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Old Wed, Nov-13-2019, 07:57:43 PM   #28
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Default Re: Why You Need to Buy an E46 M3 Right Now

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Originally Posted by Obioban View Post
Eh.

IMO the e46 is a more "raw" car than the e36. Stiffer suspension, more funny noises (M clunk), more cantankerous engine, etc. The e36 is the second most civil M3 IMO (most civil being the e9X).

I think people get fooled into thinking the e46 M3 is less "raw" than the e36 because the interior is so much nicer. But, interior trimming is just a veneer.

The weight difference between the US e36 M3 and e46 M3 is almost entirely the engine and transmission. I'm pretty sure every US e36 owner would prefer an S54, and the 5mt was my single least favorite thing about my street e36 M3 (highway is VERY buzzy). For context, the euro e36 M3 (s50b32 and 6mt) curb weight was 3340 lbs.

And the exterior dimensional difference between the two cars is pretty much the fender flares-- again, does any e36 M3 owner not with BMW had done a factory wide body on the M3?

Thats a fair point. I did not realize that the euro e36 m3 was so heavy. I just wish sometimes the e46 would shed about 300 lbs and that would be just about perfect. I suppose power and weight are always going to be tied to each other somehow unless youre willing to part with livability

Last edited by yhp2009; Wed, Nov-13-2019 at 08:04:27 PM.
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Old Wed, Nov-13-2019, 07:58:52 PM   #29
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Default Re: Why You Need to Buy an E46 M3 Right Now

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Originally Posted by bmw m3 s50 View Post
Ehhhh I would not go that far, The e90's were significantly larger when compared to the e46 more so then the e46 to e36. The e90's are a about the time of an e39 series. The size is what kinda kills the e90 for me. Maybe for a luxury go out to dinner car but not for a fun weekend car. The only thing that I really like about the e90 was the high revving s65 V8.

I currently have two e46's. While I am talking up the e46, I still hold the e36 in high regards. The chassis was great and was more of a raw compact car compared to the e46.
E90 feels like the e46 imo, size and all. Its heavy but that can be mitigated (e46 isnt exactly a lightweoght either). Only reason I really still have the e46 is it looks better. E36 feels significantly smaller/lighter than the e46.
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Old Wed, Nov-13-2019, 07:59:43 PM   #30
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Default Re: Why You Need to Buy an E46 M3 Right Now

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So what? The E36 is more fun to drive on public streets at legal speeds.
Driving at legal speeds is never fun

Oh and Ian is spot on with this argument. Best solution, drop a couple hundred pounds from your E46 m3. And I love the E36! It just feels right, but the E46 is it on steroids. E46 M3 (CSL) is also the best looking BMW ever.
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Discussing Why You Need to Buy an E46 M3 Right Now in the E46 M3 (2001-2006) Forum - Engine: S54 - Max Hp: 333 hp at 7,900 rpm / 262 lb/ft at 4,900 rpm
Total Produced: 45,000+ - Years Produced: 2001 to 2006. at BMW M3 Forum.com (E30 M3 | E36 M3 | E46 M3 | E92 M3 | F80/X)