Garwin Beukes - Not the newest car on the block but still one of the most exciting affordable sports cars around. The BMW E46 M3 was a monster of its time and still is a force to be reckoned with in the streets.
This mean machine came with a 3.2 litre engine producing 333 hp. Storming in from 0-100 in a mere 5.1 seconds while limited by an electronically controlled top speed of 259 km/ph. The inline-six engine in the E46 M3 is one of the better one’s BMW ever made. With its Double VANOS variable valve timing and 7,900 rpm redline, the 3.2 litre screams through the rev range with smooth and linear power.
For those who don’t know… BMW’s VANOS variable valve timing system is the equivalent of a few valve timing systems you have heard of like, VVT-I used in a lot of Toyota motors. VVL engines, used in Nissan (and the reason why motoring gurus loved the Sentra), and one of the most commonly known - Honda’s VTEC.
If you’ve heard some cocky boy racing his civic down the road and all of a sudden a burst of aggressiveness hits the car accompanied by a roaring sound, this is the same that happens with BMW’s VANOS system. Only louder!
The E46 M3 handles fantastic and is considered one of the better handling sports cars in its generation. It was only available with a 6-Speed manual, up until BMW released it with their SMG gearbox. While the previous two M3s were fun, the E46 was an all-out hooligan. A truly fantastic car.
The E46 M3 is still one of BMW’s hottest looking cars around!