Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Seller Submission: 2002 BMW M3

The E46 generation BMW M3 needs little introduction to the modern day gearhead, but if you haven't been up close and personal with the 8,000 rpm brute, let me share a few key statistics.  0-60mph in 4.8 seconds, 1/4 mile in 13 sec at 104 mph and a top speed of 170 mph if you remove the stock 155 mph speed limiter.  But the best part isn't the forward thrust, but what happens when you turn the steering wheel.  Find this 2002 BMW M3 offered for $15,500 on -- seller submission from Tucker.

The E46 M3 was introduced for the 2001 model year and it changed everything people thought they knew about sports cars.  A sports car didn't have room for two full sized humans in the back seat -- nope, the M3 had plenty of room.  A sports car should be difficult to drive -- nope, the M3 was just as comfortable in traffic as it was in the corkscrew at Laguna Seca.  A sports car should be best on track with a manual gearbox -- nope, the M3 had a sequential manual gearbox (SMG) that was sublime when the car was at a boil (albeit sometimes balky when cruising around town).

In the previous generation of M3 (the E36), the US market was given a detuned dog, but not this time. This time, we got the full strength weisswurst, marinated in Weihenstephaner and smothered in spicy mustard.  Right off the BBQ the 3.2 liter S54 inline-6 puts out 333 horsepower and 262 ft-lbs of torque into a 6-speed automated manual gearbox.  The sound it makes as the engine climbs to a nearly 8,000 rpm redline is a glorious symphony of combustion reverberating through tuned metal pipes. 

The seller is the second owner of this steel grey example and has a record of all maintenance since new.  It has a few performance parts including -- aFe intake, AA exhaust, AA tune, PSS10 - installed 7k miles ago, TMS swaybars, TMS camber kit, TMS shock mounts, D-Force wheels 18x9/18x9.5, Dunlop Direzza tires, ZCP front brakes, and an AC Schnitzer strut bar.

Also included from the seller is a list of maintenance and upgrades performed since 2002.

Got your own ride to sell? See how to submit here.


  1. The Want is strong with this one...

  2. The E46 M3 tops my list for most wanted BMW. The design is my favorite evolution of the theme. Still a small car. Wait for manual box.

    God I love these cars.

    I saw a convertible version the other day, and for the first time, must be my age, or the fact they are 3/5 the price of a hardtop, that it did not overwhelm me with the image of being a perfect car for a hairdresser.

    Not that there is anything wrong with that.

  3. I spent the day on the track in one of these when a friend invited me out last Monday. She's an amazing driver and really knew how to drive the M3, 'loading' the front end before entering a curve, but it's the sound of the engine and how planted the car was on the track that just blew me away! I never dream that that these things are this good...nor that my friend could hold a line so well at high speed!!!

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. Always liked the look of the E36 better but there's no disputing BMW got the E46 mechanicals right.

    It's funny how I've known E46M3 owners who sold their cars, went on to something else, and have been furtively searching the bowels of the 'net for another one three or four or five years later trying to get back.

  6. I love this car in every way, well accept for the thing that rhymes with MSG.

    The modifications are perfect!

    1. Sean,
      It's funny, but I agree with the 6-speed for most driving -- except the SMG kicks butt in two places -- in bumper to bumper LA traffic...and on a race track. For casual fun driving, yes to manual, but for track fun, the SMG makes you feel like an F1 driver.

  7. The want is strong indeed. Call me a luddite but i think i'd prefer to control the clutch with my foot. Luckily its an easy swap,
    cause its not a transmission swap.

  8. This comment has been removed by the author.


Commenting Commandments:
I. Thou Shalt Not write anything your mother would not appreciate reading.
II. Thou Shalt Not post as anonymous unless you are posting from mobile and have technical issues. Use name/url when posting and pick something Urazmus B Jokin, Ben Dover. Sir Edmund Hillary Clint don't matter. Just pick a nom de plume and stick with it.
III. Honor thy own links by using <a href ="http://www.linkgoeshere"> description of your link </a>
IV. Remember the formatting tricks <i>italics</i> and <b> bold </b>
V. Thou Shalt Not commit spam.
VI. To embed images: use [image src="" width="400px"/]. Limit images to no wider than 400 pixels in width. No more than one image per comment please.