Few vehicles have been the focus of more acclaim online than the venerable BMW E46 M3. Passionate revheads across the globe have spent countless hours; typed thousands of words; embarrassed themselves singing this amazing car’s praises.
But this E46 M3 has received more attention than most. Indeed, it might just be the most famous BMW in Australia – or, at the very least, the most mental. Why? Well, just pop the bonnet…
The 3.2L inline-six that would have originally powered this 2001 Phoenix Yellow beaut has instead been replaced by the 5.0L naturally aspirated V10 from the E60 M5, mated to a manual transmission from an E92 M3. E60 M5s in Australia never got a proper manual, which makes this combo alone pretty special, let alone the fact it’s now in a bloody E46.
We probably don’t have to spell out how bonkers – and hard to pull off – a conversion like this is. We’ve seen a lot of crazy cars here at DMARGE but this one might just take the cake.
The conversion was done by BMW specialists Brintech Customs, who you might know as the mad lads behind popular Australian automotive YouTube channel Mighty Car Mods’ V8-powered E30.
This E46 required reinforcing the vehicle’s subframe and mounting points for the larger and significantly more powerful engine; enhanced engine management and electrical systems including an M5 ECU and dash; a beefed-up and rebuilt diff, and larger CSL-style wheels.
Those bonnet vents aren’t just for visual effect, either: they’re an entirely necessary modification that’s needed to help cool down the huge donk that now powers this compact sports car. When PerformanceDrive wrote about this car back in 2019, they said it makes 310kW at the wheels – which is a lot more than the official stock figure of 252kW.
“[All in all], this V10 M3 is like nothing else on the road in Australia. Completely engineered and registered in New South Wales, this is one M3 that even Top Gear couldn’t get their hands on – but you can,” says sellers Chrome Temple. Hell of a sales pitch, we say. They want $95,000 (pretty reasonable) and you can check it out here.