Wednesday, November 7, 2012

10k Flash: 2004 BMW 330i ZHP 6-spd

BMW's E46 generation 3 series was sold from 1999 to 2005 and if you wanted the hot M3 version it was only available in 2 door trim.  Folks with little kids or the desire for a sedan had to settle for a regular 3-series, at least until the ZHP came out in 2004.  The ZHP added a 6 speed manual trans, engine tuning, suspension work and some M-sport badges to the 3 series sedan at a price considerably less than the M3.  This 2004 BMW 330i ZHP 6-spd sedan is for sale on ebay currently bidding for $6,600 reserve-not-met with a buy it now of $10,900.

Cosmetically it is hard to tell a ZHP from the standard 330i, but it does have a standard M-tech II body kit and 18 inch staggered width type 135 wheels.

The ZHP is equipped with the M54B30, a 3.0 liter inline 6 putting out 235 horsepower (10 more than the standard 330i).  It is attached to a 6 speed manual transmission -the first time BMW put a 6 speed into a non-M car. 

This ZHP has a fair amount of miles on it, and the lack of interior photos makes you wonder what it looks like on the inside.
We like the ZHP because of the performance offered for the price point.  Today a 2004 ZHP is a decent competitor to a nice E36 M3 in terms of performance, but is slightly newer and offers a more refined ride.  Personally we will wait until the E90 M3 depreciates to our cheapskate price range, but if you are considering a non-M 3-series, the ZHP is a good bet.

See another cheap 3-series with legs?  email us here:

1 comment:

  1. Had this in Imola Red. Compared to a 330i coupe I had immediately before this it was fantastic. Handling was very tight, even if the ride was a bit firm over sharp bumps. I replaced this car with an e92 in 2007 but still missed the older car's road feel and interior quality.


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