2004 E46 BMW M3 Coupé

Easily the best selling M3 to date, the E46 represented great improvements over the previous generation E36 cars but…

Weighing only 3,415lbs with 343 horsepower and 269 lb·ft of torque make the E46 capable of 0-60mph in just 4.6 seconds (1920x1200)

also stayed true to the performance and handling ethos of the “M” badging. The E46 M3, first introduced in October, 2000, appeared worldwide with the new 3.2 L S54 M-tuned engine. At the time of the car’s introduction, this engine had the highest specific output naturally aspirated engine ever made by BMW (except in the McLaren F1), producing 343 horsepower and 269 lb·ft of torque. It was only available in coupe and convertible bodies as the saloon version was dropped.

The E46 M3 was offered with a standard 6-speed Getrag transmission, but optionally came with a SMG drivelogic transmission (also known as the SMG II). This is the standard 6-speed Getrag transmission with an electrohydraulically actuated clutch pedal. Shifts are made via the SMG gear knob or the steering wheel mounted paddle shifters. The engine had a redline of 8,000 rpm. As with most M engines, the S54 again had 6 independent throttle bodies and this time electronically operated throttles (drive-by-wire throttle with no cable).

In the U.S., the E46 M3 came with similar engine output as the European version, unlike in the E36, whose engine was derived from the M50/52 series engine. Power was now at 333bhp due to close-coupled catalytic converters closer to the engine exhaust ports. In 2009, Road and Track magazine announced the 2006 M3 with the SMG transmission as its favorite sports car of all time.