RE: BMW M3 (E46) wagon: You Know You Want To

RE: BMW M3 (E46) wagon: You Know You Want To

Tuesday 2nd January

BMW M3 (E46) wagon: You Know You Want To

BMW never made an M3 estate, but that hasn't stopped a few intrepid enthusiasts!



Alright, the bad bits first. It's in New Zealand. It's SMG. And silver might be a bit predictable for an M3. But then this is an (unofficial, of course) M3 Touring, and you probably don't need us to tell you what a fantastically exciting prospect that is.


Just in case you do, here's a brief outline: first off, fast estates are always cooler than fast saloons or coupes. They just are. See Audi RS6, Mercedes C63 and Volvo 850 T5. Secondly, this particular estate is built to E46 M3 spec, arguably one of the best BMW M cars ever produced, and then some. A combination of muscular good looks, fantastic dynamics and a savage straight six saw to that.

BMW once made an E46 M3 Touring concept, and mighty fine it looked too, but for whatever reason decided not to produce it. The most commonly held belief is that, while success could have been counted on in Europe, sales predictions were not as rosy elsewhere. Shame. Especially when Audi saw enough potential in the RS4 to launch an estate-only model at about the same time.

Still, it has at least meant a few - apparently six globally - M3 Tourings have emerged, the result of dedicated BMW enthusiasts picking up where that concept left off.


And doesn't it look superb? This one isn't quite standard, lowered via Bilstein PSS10s on Avant Garde M359 19-inch wheels, but it works wonders for the stance. Indeed this M3 Touring is optimised with a fast road/track set up including Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tyres, Pagid brakes pads and braided lines plus intake and exhaust tweaks. The seller says the car, "would make the perfect addition to a BMW collection, or you could simply use it daily as I have, it is a very well set up car" - perhaps it could work as a track project too...

See, this isn't some garage queen; it began life as a 318 and has been used as a daily driver in M3 guise, covering 180,000 kilometres in the process. There's no need to be afraid about using it, basically, and it would be a real pity to see such hard work no longer enjoyed.

It's always hard to value projects like this, when huge amounts of time and money have been invested into the finished project. Especially when it's then taken beyond OEM spec as well. At least with this car everything appears to be working, so it wouldn't require much from the next owner.

Given this car is in Waikato, you would have to hope that the $48,000 price is in New Zealand dollars and not US. At the former it's £25,000, the latter £35,000. Not a cheap car either way, but also not absurd in the current climate. And the E46 M3 is becoming more desirable as a classic, seemingly by the day. Being on the other side of the world isn't exactly ideal, but it looks like one lucky buyer could be in for the best M car BMW never made.


BMW M3 (E46) TOURING

Price: $48,000
Why you should: E46, M3, Touring
Why you shouldn't: SMG, NZ, OMG

See the original advert here.

 

 


 

 

 

   
Author
Discussion

Johnspex

Original Poster:

1,062 posts

112 months

Tuesday 2nd January
quotequote all
I would love that.

Hairymonster

222 posts

33 months

Tuesday 2nd January
quotequote all
Yes please!! Yummy.

culpz

3,337 posts

40 months

Tuesday 2nd January
quotequote all
Looks great. I believe there were a few conversions done by some fellow PH'ers on here. Although, one that i did start to read was abandoned, mid-project, much to my disappointment. I can imagine that it would become fairly expensive to do, so i can fully understand why.

I find the title of this quite ironic, as i'm sure BMW would have shifted a few M3 Touring models. It's all shoulda-woulda-coulda really, as it was never offered.

gt69

42 posts

103 months

Tuesday 2nd January
quotequote all
Hmmm - would seriously consider swapping my RS2 for something like this - I have an E46 M3 and absolutely love it, in an estate body would be wonderful. The E46 is the better car in every measurable way, save from the turbo nuttiness, unsurprising as it's a generation newer, though not as iconic. But an E46 M3 Touring would be pretty special. It's a nice dilemma to have!

LouD86

3,164 posts

81 months

Tuesday 2nd January
quotequote all
Southways did one, a Blue Tourer from Memory. Lovely machine, Rich aka Kitchski I think on here, man of fabled AX/BX/TVR woes was the one
Advertisement

chappardababbar

237 posts

71 months

Tuesday 2nd January
quotequote all
Something isn't quite right about the rear arch

NorthernSky

308 posts

45 months

Tuesday 2nd January
quotequote all
Hmm, now looking at 3 series tourings again, argh...

Quick search of AT throws this up:

No S54 under the hood but 6 cylinders nonetheless! and just 2k, wonder if he knows what he has for sale...

https://www.autotrader.co.uk/classified/advert/201...

Trevor555

289 posts

12 months

Tuesday 2nd January
quotequote all
I like that.

p1stonhead

14,221 posts

95 months

Tuesday 2nd January
quotequote all
NorthernSky said:
Hmm, now looking at 3 series tourings again, argh...

Quick search of AT throws this up:

No S54 under the hood but 6 cylinders nonetheless! and just 2k, wonder if he knows what he has for sale...

https://www.autotrader.co.uk/classified/advert/201...
Blimey thats a lot of car for £2k

thegreenhell

3,782 posts

147 months

Tuesday 2nd January
quotequote all
I always though it odd that BMW never made an estate version of the M3, and equally odd that they did make a convertible version.

p1stonhead

14,221 posts

95 months

Tuesday 2nd January
quotequote all
thegreenhell said:
I always though it odd that BMW never made an estate version of the M3, and equally odd that they did make a convertible version.
I thought the same until I read how many actually bought the M5 touring they did make - basically no one!

gt69

42 posts

103 months

Tuesday 2nd January
quotequote all
The range of the M5 touring didn't help sales - 180-200 miles for a touring car put a lot of people off. But it's a fair comment - I know quite a few people who have RS4s and the like, and they didn't really consider the M5 Touring, mainly due to a combination of perceived fragility and 500 HP through 2WD - but that didn't put off buyers of the saloon, nor Merc AMG wagons. I think a combination put people off, but none of those would apply to the M3. Really, I just think that they cocked up the marketing - plus it was launched in the middle of a recession.

jonnyfive

33 posts

8 months

Tuesday 2nd January
quotequote all
Im gona say it again.....e46 M3 WITH SMG.....its the SMG that makes it.
-Fastest shifting (when you want it to be)
-Brutal (when you want it to be)
-Perfect every time, everytime! (you can even miss gears if you want, a quick double tap on the paddles and it will happily go from 1-3-5-6 for a more relaxing drive)
-Rev matching downshifts
-But slow and easy and gentle when you pootle to the shops.

I think until you have spent some time with one (so for me it took about 6 weeks to learn it...).... 7 years later and over 50k miles later....its still perfect. And in that time i've driven and owned and number of other cars...fast autos, fast manuals, slow autos, slow manuals etc... and i still come back to the SMG and think its incredible.


hondansx

3,098 posts

153 months

Tuesday 2nd January
quotequote all
Very cool!

R8Steve

3,526 posts

103 months

Tuesday 2nd January
quotequote all
I'm sure i seen one of these for sale in the UK on facebook the other day, i'll need to go have a look and see if i can find it.

R8Steve

3,526 posts

103 months

Tuesday 2nd January
quotequote all
A quick two minute search on PH's own classifieds would reveal this...

https://www.pistonheads.com/classifieds/used-cars/...

About a quarter of the price and about 12000 miles closer to home.

F1GTRUeno

3,537 posts

146 months

Tuesday 2nd January
quotequote all
I like them when they're limited to just the original M3 bumpers and wheels, as if BMW themselves had done it.

Like the one they actually made.



http://www.bmwblog.com/2016/09/28/one-off-bmw-e46-...

Less so when they've got fake CSL reps, fake CSL bumpers, blacked out lights and kidney grilles and lowered to fk.

culpz

3,337 posts

40 months

Tuesday 2nd January
quotequote all
jonnyfive said:
Im gona say it again.....e46 M3 WITH SMG.....its the SMG that makes it.
-Fastest shifting (when you want it to be)
-Brutal (when you want it to be)
-Perfect every time, everytime! (you can even miss gears if you want, a quick double tap on the paddles and it will happily go from 1-3-5-6 for a more relaxing drive)
-Rev matching downshifts
-But slow and easy and gentle when you pootle to the shops.

I think until you have spent some time with one (so for me it took about 6 weeks to learn it...).... 7 years later and over 50k miles later....its still perfect. And in that time i've driven and owned and number of other cars...fast autos, fast manuals, slow autos, slow manuals etc... and i still come back to the SMG and think its incredible.
It's all personal preference, at the end of the day. I'd prefer an SMG version over a manual. I've always found BMW's manual gearboxes to be quite notchy and not that pleasant to use, but it's more to do with suiting the engine it's attached to.

The only thing that would sway the manual for me would be to save on the potential repair bills. That's not to say that these are notoriously unreliable, but if they do go, they aren't cheap to fix and it's not exactly the cheapest car to run out there anyway.

rev-erend

19,732 posts

212 months

Tuesday 2nd January
quotequote all
R8Steve said:
A quick two minute search on PH's own classifieds would reveal this...

https://www.pistonheads.com/classifieds/used-cars/...

About a quarter of the price and about 12000 miles closer to home.
Looks great ..

British Beef

1,061 posts

93 months

Tuesday 2nd January
quotequote all

Best car BMW never made!! Shame.