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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 Sat, Oct-09-2010, 06:35:53 AM   #1
rodH
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Default What makes the steering in this car almost "magic"?

I have driven a lot of sports cars in my day and I think something really stands out about the M3 E46, the steering. I am not sure how to describe it or what it is, but it is incredible. Very precise, not too light, not too heavy, great ratio, etc....

What is it? The steering wheel? The rack? Suspension? Car dimensions? What the heck makes it feel so good?
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Old Sat, Oct-09-2010, 06:57:19 AM   #2
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Believe it or not our car is a direct decedent of Pegasus and his wife, the Unicorn.

In all seriousness though...I've had my car for about 2-3 months now and I completely agree with you. I've ridden in plenty of track ready car's and while I understand they're MADE for the track our car IMO handles superb. I've got H&R coilovers and the drive is perfect. I would blame it on everything you listed. BMW has always had a knack for building track cars, Germany = Nurburgring, plus when you pay 60k for a car (Brand New) you know there has been extensive R&D done for it in ALL aspects.

Side Story: I was at the Car Wash the other day vacuuming when an older guy comes up to me and asks what year my car was. I told him 01' and continued vacuuming while I still had time for the $1.25 I paid. After I was done he asks how much power it makes stock, I tell him 300 and he say's "that was quite a bit of power back then" and I reply "It's quite a bit of power now." Purpose: It's crazy how 10 years have passed and our cars STILL to this day compete with cars being built today.
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Old Sat, Oct-09-2010, 03:59:46 PM   #3
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Yeah I also wonder what kind of steering DNA is there to make it feel so nice and precise.
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Old Sat, Oct-09-2010, 04:17:08 PM   #4
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And now Im hearing that new 5er has electric steering
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Old Sat, Oct-09-2010, 06:38:18 PM   #5
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It is a great car for sure. That's why I don't want to alter it too greatly with modifications.
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Old Sat, Oct-09-2010, 06:46:22 PM   #6
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I agree! I just bought this car about a month ago. It replaced a 2006 GTO. Even with every bushing replaced, swaybars, strut tower brace and coilovers on the GTO this stock BMW handles better. My next step on the BMW will be some wider tires front and rear and an alignment to maximize negative camber. Then it will turn corners as good as any street car made!. Well almost. LOL
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Old Sat, Oct-09-2010, 10:56:30 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rodH View Post
I have driven a lot of sports cars in my day and I think something really stands out about the M3 E46, the steering. I am not sure how to describe it or what it is, but it is incredible. Very precise, not too light, not too heavy, great ratio, etc....

What is it? The steering wheel? The rack? Suspension? Car dimensions? What the heck makes it feel so good?
What year is your M3? My 2002 M3's steering feels heavier than my friend's 06. I think there was a change in the steering ratio after a certain year.
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Old Sun, Oct-10-2010, 01:23:16 AM   #8
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It's funny, coming from an E36 with poly FCAB's and RTAB's, TCK Coils, nearly ever suspension piece replaced and lightweight wheels, I felt that my E46's steering was a little numb. I've since warmed up to it more, but I wonder if it could be improved with coils(not going poly bushings again, squeaking is unbearable).
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Old Sun, Oct-10-2010, 01:34:17 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bmwm3smg2 View Post
My 2002 M3's steering feels heavier than my friend's 06.
IMHO that should be a good thing!
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Old Sun, Oct-10-2010, 02:49:24 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kuksul08 View Post
It is a great car for sure. That's why I don't want to alter it too greatly with modifications.
Yep.... everytime I modify something suspension related I end up not liking the car as much and then go back to a "mostly" stock configuration. Sure, the mods help sharpen/stiffen/tighten up certain aspects of the handling, but always at the expense of that great feel these cars have.... it's precisely that feel that sets them apart from others.
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Discussing What makes the steering in this car almost "magic"? 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)