At last ! After a wait of 18 months I picked up my new E46 M3 at the dealership.
This is my 3rd M car (after 2 M Roadsters) but the first without a classic manual transmission.
This car is equipped with SMG II, the brand-new Sequential M Gearbox. Actually it's one of the first customer cars with SMG II which is available in Europe since week 25 (2001).
My car went into production in week 26 (2001).
This car is steelgray metallic with Imolared leather interior and Titanium shadow trim. I eventually decided on this combo after I considered about every combo that is currently available for the M3. I'm very happy with it - it's perfect for me.
Click on the image for a larger picture (1024x768)
Pictures taken July 18, 2001
SMG II features a pair of shift paddles and a joystick. the left paddle is for downshifts, the right for upshifts and the joystick is there to choose the mode (S or A) or the R gear. One can also shift with the stick; pull = upshift and push = downshift. The button under the SMG emblem changes the program (S1-6 or A1-5).
These are the only pictures of my car with the stock 18'' wheels. I only put 100 Km on these and got my new wheels already on July 19. So, In case anybody is interested, they're still for sale now ;-)
steelgray is one beautiful color in the sunlight ! It gives the car a very classy and yet sporty look.
This is the only close up picture of the stock exhaust. I changed it only two weeks later because the car sounded to high-pitched for my taste.
Today I had my new wheels put on the car. These are 19'' Work VS-MX with Michelin PilotSport tires. "Work" are exclusive japanese 3-piece rims. They produce their rims only on order. It took 8 weeks from order to delivery - the wheels came in just in time as I ordered 2 months ago. The rims are deep dish (polished) and look awesome ! They look far better in the flesh than on the pics and fit the E46 M3 perfectly well. The Work VS-MX wheels make my car something unique and give it "my" individual touch.
Pictures taken July 19, 2001
The European E46 M3 break rotors are floating and cross drilled. This car definitely has best brakes I ever had on a car. I'd say these are Porsche class ;-)
I tried to make a good close-up picture of one of the paddles. The feel quality is excellent and the pressure points are perfect. There is absolutely no clicking sound from the paddles when shifting gears. Oh, and btw... I absolutely love the thick steering wheel :-D
On August 6th, I had my exhaust changed by Daehler Design & Technik in Belp/BE. Daehler is the only licensed representative of Hartge and Wiesmann in Switzerland. The exhaust is an Eisenmann (Germany) product. Basically it looks more or less the same like the stock exhaust - that's what I like best about it ;-)
However, the pipes have a larger diameter (7.6 cm each)... and the sound of the car improved dramatically in my opinion. The car sounds much deeper pitched (especially between 1500 and 3000 rpm) and a lot more powerful.
Unfortunately it didn't remove the "chain-saw" like sound that is typical for the E46 M3 - this sound is caused by another part (not the exhaust). It comes from a resonator box that is installed in front of the exhaust.
I'm planning to remove it as soon as possible. Nonetheless, I'm now very satisfied with the sound of the car. I can definitely recommend the Eisenmann product - it is well worth the money.
Pictures taken August 06, 2001 - Daehler exhaust
Thanks for reading about my M3.
Andreas aka M3Maniac