The BMW M3 from the E46 generation still remains the most successful BMW M model to date in terms of sales with about 85,000 deliveries. It had the perfect balance between a low curb weight, low centre of gravity, and a high-revving inline-six engine. Even by today’s standards, it’s a pretty capable machine and a new video from the AutoTopNL channel on YouTube comes to prove that.
On some of the unrestricted sections of the German Autobahn, the driver in this video easily surpasses the 137 miles per hour barrier. The M3 seems to be effortlessly reaching 155 mph too, and there’s potential for even more. The highest speed it reaches in this video is around 168 mph with the engine being just under 8,000 rpm.
Gallery: G-Power tunes the BMW M3 E46 to 450 PS
At the heart of the M3 E46 was BMW’s 3.2-litrе inline-six S54B32 engine built on the legacy of its predecessor. It was an almost entirely new development at the time, though, and when the model was originally launched in 2000, it had 343 bhp and 269 lb-ft of torque. The car from the video has a six-speed manual gearbox and there was also an optional automated manual transmission available.
With a curb weight of 1,570 kilograms, on paper, the M3 E46 should be capable of accelerating from a standstill to 62 mph in just 5.1 seconds. Interestingly, it has an electronically governed max speed of 155 mph, though, obviously, the example from the video reaches speeds well above that limit.
As a final note, it’s worth mentioning the M3 E46 had a version with a V8 engine and it was the road-legal GTR built as a homologation for the race car. With the larger engine, the sports coupe was capable of hitting 183 mph.