E46 BMW M3 Turbo: Part 1 – Introduction plus wheels and tires


In the case of this Cayenne Turbo, the original factory wheels had real thick spokes, which hid the shiny red brakes.  These new Forgestar CF10s, however, show the brakes off much better.

Stay tuned as we put the white M3 on the dyno for a final tune at Modified by KC using 93 octane pump fuel and methanol injection!

In case you’re curious as to what that Stage 4 HPF M3 with a Azuka widebody kit looked like, here it is.  It’s quite a menacing look, and I believe the car’s changed colors once or twice since then.  That’s HPF owner Chris Bergemann pumping in the 110 octane racing fuel (this is all prior to the E85 craze) before our “off-road” escapade in this monster.
Remember on Page 1 we'd mentioned about Chris' B7 Audi RS4, where we also promised a quick video.  Well, here it is, showing just how good that car sounded in a 2nd-to-3rd gear rip.  Turn up the volume!
And here's a speedo shot of the same car.  The acceleration is very good for a normally-aspirated 4.2-liter V8!  However, Chris wanted more.  But oh, that sound!  That's not something we were going to be able to replicate in an E46 M3.  Not even close.  And turbos just change everything in terms of sound.  Coincidentally, though, the sound from inside this RS4 is indentical to that of an E90/E92 BMW M3 sporting the 4.0-liter V8 with the same GruppeM intake.

Well shoot, all of this “turbo M3” talk and I can’t keep myself from giving a shout-out to the car that really brought me into this working world of car magazines.  My own E36 turbo M3, which was built over 29 articles through european car Magazine, was a real treat to drive and a sleeper in its own right, considering most BMWs just weren't making turbocharged power over 14 years ago (the then-crazy BMW M5 came out with “396 bhp” was about 335 WHP, remember?).  I miss this car dearly.  It sported an AA turbo kit set to around 340 WHP for the track and 420 WHP for the street. I later ended up with a built motor using JE Pistons, and custom top-mount turbo kit built by Speed Force Racing, which housed a rather large T66 Turbonetics turbo on tubular 321 stainless headers.  It netted over 575 WHP at 24 PSI.  With only 255-mm tires back there on the street (and I could only fit 235- to 245-mm tires back there on the track), the car was more than a handful!

And Oh, why not…here's a quick speedometer video clip to show you how quick this little sucker was at just 17 PSI on pump fuel and some methanol.  For a street car, this was very high performance for over a decade ago.

But that E36 M3 was nowhere near as quick as this white E46 M3 is.  Stay tuned as we show that to you next time, and with more video!



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