BMW E46 320 Ci belongs to the fourth generation of the famous 3 Series, which further expanded the market for the Bavarian sports sedan manufacturer. The popular trio has been in production since 1975 and has become synonymous with a reliable passenger car with a sporty heart. It is the most globally popular series in BMW's range, which was produced on four continents at the time of the launch of the E46 variant, specifically in plants in Germany, South Africa, Mexico, Russia and China. The third generation was introduced in 1997 and, like the previous line, was available as a sedan, station wagon, hatchback, convertible and coupe. The BMW E46 generation has introduced some new elements in vehicle construction, such as a rigid chassis, and the use of electronics, which includes the CAN bus system, has been improved.
The fourth generation of the 3 Series brought a renaissance and the very look of the vehicle. Its smooth and rounded body lines represent the final break in design continuity from the time of the old "cube". The new look of the E46 was conceived by BMW in collaboration with an American group of designers, who placed emphasis on aerodynamics and creating a car with attitude. The launch of the E46 introduced two- and four-door versions in parallel, and the three-door model, popularly known as the hatchback, began production in 2000. The model is branded as the BMW E46 compact, and differs from other E46 versions in headlight design. Due to its short length and net weight, and on the other hand the offer of powerful engines with a minimum of 116 hp, this car is almost a perfect starting tuning platform.
While the BMW E46 320d in sedan and wagon variants is primarily known as a mid-range family vehicle, the 320 Ci is expected to provide significantly more sporty character. This is mostly due to the 2.0-liter petrol M52 engine, which develops 150 hp with a torque of 190 Nm at 3500 rpm. This engine represents the evolution of the M52 six-cylinder in-line engine, used in the later phase of the third generation of the 3 Series. Considering that the standard BMW coupe weighs just over 1300 kg, the performance fully matches the engine power. With an acceleration of 0-100 km / h in 8 seconds, the car reaches a maximum of 226 km / h, which are very favorable characteristics for racing and without subsequent tuning.
It’s hard to imagine any talk of the 3 Series’s sporting potential without touching on the legendary M3 model. The M3 was introduced in the E46 movement in mid-2000 and fully lived up to all expectations. Its most powerful version, the BMW E46 M3 coupe, thanks to the redesigned S54 3, 2-liter petrol engine develops a staggering 360 hp, which is as much as 190 hp more than the BMW E46 320 Ci. This car is one of the most brutal examples of the M3, as the engine power of the new models is not significantly increased. At the same time, the sense of aesthetics of the E46 platform was retained, which promoted the M3 to the full status of a supercar. BMW has also made a limited series of M3 GTR models in just ten copies, which are conceptually designed as BMW’s ace up its sleeve for American LeMans.
When it comes to the driving characteristics of the E46, it should be noted that this generation of the 3 Series is focused on the driver and his experience. Rear-wheel drive allows for a very dynamic ride. Since the front of the vehicle is devoid of the "tension" created by the torque of the engine, rear-wheel drive will allow better transmission to the wheels, and thus greater power utilization. The combination of front-mounted engine and rear-wheel drive is a great predisposition for adrenaline-fueled driving, although stability in all driving conditions is much better than in older generations, which is helped by standard DSC systems. The sporty spirit of the BMW E46 coupe is further emphasized by the characteristic muffled sound of the R6 atmosphere, which occurs at every stronger pressure of the accelerator pedal.
Our own BMW E46 320 Ci with 2.0 petrol and 150 hp has been transformed into a full-blooded rally beast. The standard suspension has been replaced by macadam, which makes it easier to cross over uneven surfaces. The five-speed transmission is paired with a differential lock, which allows better distribution of engine torque and thus further prepares the car for rally conditions. The interior is equipped with a DAK motorsport protective cage, integrated camera and racing seats with H-belts. Add to that the hydraulic handbrake, which is very useful in drifting, and we get a car that will do well on virtually any racetrack. The wheels are 15 "for macadam curves and 16" for asphalt surfaces. Since it is a multi-purpose rally vehicle, we offer it for rent for macadam rally-ie, promo events, racing academy or team bulding.