BMW E46


BMW E46

Infobox Automobile
name=BMW E46


manufacturer=BMW
production=1998–2006
predecessor=BMW E36
successor=BMW E90, E91, E92, E93
width= convert|1739|mm|in|1|abbr=on
height= convert|1415|mm|in|1|abbr=on
length= convert|4471|mm|in|1|abbr=on
class=Entry-level luxury car / Compact executive car
body_style=2-door coupé
2-door convertible
3-door hatchback
4-door saloon
5-door estate
platform=
layout=FR layout/AWD
engine=Otto- and diesel engines
I4, I6
1.8-3.2 L, 77-252 kW
transmission=5- and 6-speed manual
Sequential manual (SMG)
5-speed automatic
5-speed semi-automatic (Steptronic)
related=BMW Z4
BMW X3
Rover 75
similar=Audi A4
Mercedes-Benz C-Class
Lexus IS
The E46 automobile platform is the fourth generation of BMW's 3 Series entry-level luxury car / compact executive car. The sedan was introduced in 1998 and replaced the E36 sedan the same year. The touring and coupé models appeared in 1999 with BMW's newly designed steptronic transmissions (available in all 3 series models), and the convertible and M3 later in 2000. The E46 Compact, a 3-door hatchback, was revealed in 2001 to be sold in European and Australian markets.

In 2000, the E46 lineup received an engine boost when the new M54 engines appeared for Model Year 2001 cars; with the new 3.0 L 330 replacing the 328, BMW renamed the 2.5 L car the 325. Outside of the engine and exhaust upgrades, there were few cosmetic changes, the most noticeable being the 330 receiving silver accents on the front fascia.

Also in 2000, the E46 lineup expanded to include the new (model year) 2001 M3 Coupe. The M3 only came in a coupe and convertible (model year 2002) platform, with either a 6 speed manual or SMG transmission. Unlike its predecessor, the E46 M3 shared very few parts with the standard 3 series. The exteriors of the two cars only shared the doors, roof, and trunk. The exterior of the M3 had wider fenders and "M styled" bumpers, side skirts, mirrors, a protruding hood, spoiler, and the new tradition of M marked grills on the front fenders and four exhaust pipes. The interior of the M3 was accented with an M steering wheel, seats, rear view mirror, and instrument cluster.

The first major overhaul occurred when the E46 sedan underwent a facelift in 2002, which included re-designed headlights, new bumpers and a stiffer chassis. Also, the 316i and 318i models received new, more powerful engines. Then in 2004 the coupe and convertible had a facelift which included new headlights, new front wings and bumpers, new selections in exterior colour, and redesigned sidemarker lights and LED tail lights. The M3s got a much more mild facelift that same year, with the inclusion of the updated boot and LED tail lights from the coupe/convertible.

Despite being introduced last, the E46 compact was the first to be replaced when 1 Series was launched in September 2004. In mid-2005 the E46 sedans were phased out with the introduction of the new E90 saloons. The E46 touring was also replaced later that year with E91. The E46 remained in production as coupé, convertible and M3 until the E92 coupé and E93 convertible was revealed in late 2006. The new M3 coupé concept was later unveiled in March 2007 during Geneva Motor Show.

The E46 experienced enormous success in all markets and was widely considered the performance benchmark of its class. The record year for the E46 was 2002, when 561,249 vehicles were sold worldwide. [cite web | url=http://www.theautochannel.com/news/2004/01/27/178201.html | publisher=The Auto Channel | accessdate=2006-07-24 | title=Successful 2003 Financial Year for the BMW Group]

As a credit to the E46 platform, it was chosen for Car and Driver Magazine's "10 Best Cars" every year of its production. See Car and Driver Ten Best.

Engines

Petrol

Diesel

Design

The BMW E46 was an evolution from its predecessor, the E36. Many of the lines and the over all exterior shape was taken from the E36, but was upgraded to a more rounded, aerodynamic shape, similar to many of the "rounded" designs of the mid to late '90s. Many features were passed along from the E36, including the shape of the rear view mirrors, side molding trim, center arm rest, the steering wheel, gauges, and the design of the front and rear seats. With an exception to the tail lamp shape, most of the lines are similar to the E36, the only difference being that the edges and corners have a more round look. Wheels have also been upgraded to a more modern look with larger rims and low-profile tires. Inside, not much resembles the E36's interior. The shape of the dash, trim, and center console are almost identical to the BMW e38 and e39, and it shares many of the same parts that seem to have been tricked down from the 7 to the 5 to the 3 series.

Options

The E46 came with over 10 different bodykits and over 20 different rims. Wheel sizes ranged from 16" for the base models, 17" for the sports package, 18" for the performance package, and optional 19" rims for the M3. Inside, seats were offered with either synthetic leatherette or authentic leather.

The cold weather package included a ski-bag, headlamp washers, and heated seats. The sports package included bolstered seats with power lumbar support, a 3 spoke steering wheel (standard on the coupe), 17" staggered rims, and sport suspension (also standard on the coupe). The premium package included rain sensing windshield wipers, wood grain, power seats, an auto dimming rear view mirror, and leather seats.

Other miscellaneous options included a navigation system (in 2002 it was upgraded to a wider 16x9 screen), floor mats, universal garage door opener, mud flaps, exterior sport bumpers (the M Aero and M Sport kits), and a compass integrated into the rear view mirror.

pecial models

330 Clubsport Package (UK)

Although the name started out as the Clubsport Package, it was later changed to "M-Sport Package". This package lacks the BMW Performance Engine Kit which is included with the US ZHP and therefore has the same power/torque ratings as the standard 330.
*Special Clubsport (Euro Only)
**Front bumper splitters
**GT rear wing
**Door sills
**Clubsport Style 18" rims with 225/40R18 front, 255/35R18 rear performance tires
**Exterior paint choices of Titanium Silver, and two "BMW Individual" colors Estoril Blue and Velvet Blue

330 ZHP Performance Package (USA)

In January 2003, at the Los Angeles International Auto Show, BMW of North America introduced the 330i Performance Package, order code ZHP. This was a trim level upgrade that included engine modifications for an increase of Convert|10|hp|kW|0|abbr=on and Auto ft.lbf|8|0 of torque and a redline increase to 6,800 rpm (from 6,500 in the regular 330i). The ZHP option also provided a 6-speed short-throw manual transmission, a higher final drive ratio and speed limiter setting, a suspension tuned for better handling, and various BMW M exterior trim elements as well as an interior similar to that of the M3. The color option of Imola Red replaces Electric Red when ordering with ZHP Performance Package, which is usually only available in the M-series. Europe received slightly more cosmetic upgrades with their version, the Clubsport Package available only for the 330Ci (Coupe) models. The ZHP package (a M car, but not a full M) helped BMW fill in a gap that was left after the departure of the 4Dr e36 M3 in 98, since the next generation e46 M3 was only available in coupe/conv form.

Specific details on the order package include:

  • Performance:
    • Lightweight flywheel
    • More aggressive camshaft
    • Free-flowing exhaust with 35 mm matte stainless steel dual exhaust pipes
    • 3.07 final drive gear ratio in rear differential
    • Tachometer with 300 RPM-higher redline
    • New 155 MPH top speed since the 128 MPH (206 km/h) governor has been removed
  • Suspension (comparisons are made to non ZSP suspension):
    • New M suspension, more "sporty" than standard sport package
    • Firmer springs (front +6%, rear +8%)
    • Firmer shocks (Jounce: front +50%, rear +20%), (Rebound: front +35%, rear -8%)
    • Larger diameter anti-roll bars: 23.5 mm front (v. 23.0), 18.5 mm rear (v. 18.0)
    • Lower ride height by 15 mm (.6 inches) utilizing shorter auxiliary springs
    • -.5 degrees of camber
    • Reinforced right & left front lower control arms with all-metal ball joints (More rigid forward bushings)
  • Aesthetics:
    • Interior:
      • Sport seats come standard in alcantara/cloth combo while leather is optional
      • Anthracite interior headliner
      • Thicker ///M 3-spoke multi-function steering wheel in perforated leather or alcantara with fingertip cruise, audio, and accessory phone controls
      • Short & weighted ///M shift knob
      • Aluminum black/silver cube interior trim
    • Exterior:
      • M-Tech II aerodynamic package
      • Double-spoke (Styling 135M) cast alloy wheels
        • 18 x 8.0 front with 225/40R-18 performance tires
        • 18 x 8.5 rear with 255/35R-18 performance tires
      • High-gloss shadowline trim around the windows

The ZHP package was available on mid-2003 330i sedans, all 2004-2005 330i sedans, and mid 2004-2006 330Ci coupes & convertibles. It has become a highly sought-after model due to its unique modifications. "Car and Driver" magazine track-tested the car, which returned a 0-60 mph time of 5.6 seconds and passed through the 1/4 mile in 14.2 seconds.

M3

M3 ZCP Competition Package (USA)

M3 Clubsport (UK)

M3 CSL

M3 GTR

Gallery


Notes

External links

* [http://natgeotv.com.au/Programmes/Main.aspx?Id=652 BMW's Super factory]
* [http://www.bimmerfest.com/wiki/index.php?title=BMW_E46 BMW E46 Wiki at Bimmerfest]
*
* [http://bimmeromania.blogspot.com/2007/03/video-making-of-bmw-e46-have-you-ever.html BMW Video: Making of an BMW E46]
* [http://www.fixexpert.com/wiki/BMW+3+Series+E46 E46 Repair Wiki]
* [http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=98 Bimmerfest E46 Forum and Information]
* [http://www.e46fanatics.com/ E46Fanatics Forum and Information]


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