BMW 3 Series (E46)

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BMW 3 Series (E46)
2000-2003 BMW 330Ci (E46) coupe (2011-07-17) 01.jpg
BMW E46 330Ci
Overview
ManufacturerBMW
ProductionDecember 1997 – August 2006[1][2]
Assembly
Designer
Body and chassis
ClassCompact executive car (D)
Body style
LayoutFront-engine, rear-wheel-drive,
Front-engine, all-wheel-drive (xi models)
Powertrain
Engine
Dimensions
Wheelbase2,720 mm (107 in)[8]
Length4,470–4,490 mm (176–177 in)
Width1,740–1,810 mm (69–71 in)
Height1,410–1,440 mm (56–57 in)
Chronology
PredecessorBMW 3 Series (E36)
SuccessorBMW 3 Series (E90)

The BMW E46 is the fourth generation of the BMW 3 Series, which was produced from 1997 to 2006. The body styles of the range are:

All-wheel drive, last available in the E30 3 Series, was reintroduced for the E46. It was available for the 325xi, 330xi and 330xd sedan/wagon models.[8][10] The E46 was the first 3 Series to be available with an engine using variable valve lift ("valvetronic"). Various electronic features were also introduced to the 3 Series in the E46 generation, including satellite navigation, electronic brake-force distribution, rain-sensing wipers and LED tail-lights.[11][12][13]

Following the introduction of the E90 sedan in late 2004, the E46 began to be phased out. However the E46 coupé and convertible body styles remained in production until 2006.

The M3 version of the E46 was powered by the S54 straight-six engine. The M3 was released in late 2000 and was available in coupé and convertible body styles with no sedan body style available unlike its predecessor.

Development[edit]

In 1993, the development programme for the E46 began under chief engineer Wolfgang Ziebart and head of R&D Wolfgang Reitzle. In late 1993, design work began under chief designer Chris Bangle and continued into 1995.[14] In May 1995, the general exterior design of the E46 by Erik Goplen of DesignworksUSA was approved and as a result DesignworksUSA was contracted by BMW to work alongside BMW Group's in-house design team to create the exterior body work for the 3 Series range in February 1996.[15][16][17] The design team put an emphasis on improving aerodynamics and increasing the car's aggressive stance.[16] Design patents were filed in Germany on 16 July 1997[18] and in the US on 16 January 1998.[19]

Chris Bangle and Dr. Wolfgang Reitzle (BMW Head of R&D)[20] were responsible through 1995 for the production sedan's exterior,[21][22] as evident in the 1997 design patent. Production development of the sedan took 24 months following design freeze and was 31 months from executive board styling approval in 1995 to its start of production in 1997. Goplen designed the production coupé and station wagon during 1996–1997. The E46 sedan was unveiled via press release on November 11, 1997 and was launched on the market at the end of April 1998 with customer deliveries.[23] Production of the sedan concluded in May 2005.[24][25]

Body styles[edit]

Chassis[edit]

The body shell of the E46 was claimed by BMW to be 70% more rigid than its E36 predecessor.[26] Aluminium was used for an increased quantity of suspension components, in order to decrease unsprung mass.[26] However, with a curb weight of 1,450 kg (3,197 lb),[27][28] the E46 328ci is 55 kg (121 lb) heavier than the E36 equivalent.[29][30]

In tune with BMW's core values regarding handling dynamics,[31] the E46 was initially available with a front engine, rear-wheel-drive layout and a 50/50 weight distribution.[26][32]

Electronics[edit]

The electronic components in the E46 are more integrated than previous generations of 3 Series, including the use of a CAN bus system.[33] Drivetrain information (such as engine, transmission and stability control) is communicated using the CAN bus.[34][35] Vehicle electronics (such as the radio, navigation, television and telecommunications) can communicate to each other via the K-bus.[36]

Drivetrain[edit]

Manual transmissions[edit]

Automatic transmissions[edit]

Models[edit]

Petrol engines[edit]

Model[44] Years Engine Power Torque
316i /

316ci[45][46]

1999–2001 M43B19
4-cyl
77 kW (103 hp; 105 PS) 165 N⋅m (122 lb⋅ft)
2001 - 2004 N40B16

4-cyl

85 kW (114 hp; 116 PS) 150 N⋅m (111 lb⋅ft)
2001–2004 N42B18
4-cyl
85 kW (114 hp; 116 PS) 175 N⋅m (129 lb⋅ft)
2004–2005 N46B18
4-cyl
85 kW (114 hp; 116 PS) 175 N⋅m (129 lb⋅ft)
318i /
318ci[47]
1998–2001 M43B19
4-cyl
87 kW (117 hp; 118 PS) 180 N⋅m (133 lb⋅ft)
2001–2005 N42B20
4-cyl
105 kW (141 hp; 143 PS) 200 N⋅m (148 lb⋅ft)
2003–2006 N46B20
4-cyl
110 kW (148 hp; 150 PS) 200 N⋅m (148 lb⋅ft)
320i /
320ci[48]
1998–2000 M52TUB20
6-cyl
110 kW (148 hp; 150 PS) 190 N⋅m (140 lb⋅ft)
2000–2001 M54B22
6-cyl
125 kW (168 hp; 170 PS) 210 N⋅m (155 lb⋅ft)
2001–2006 M54B22
6-cyl
125 kW (168 hp; 170 PS) 210 N⋅m (155 lb⋅ft)
323i /
323ci[49]
1998–2000 M52TUB25
6-cyl
125 kW (168 hp; 170 PS) 245 N⋅m (181 lb⋅ft)
325i (EU) /
325ci (EU)[50][51]
2001–2006 M54B25
6-cyl
141 kW (189 hp; 192 PS) 245 N⋅m (181 lb⋅ft)
325i (US) /
325ci (US)[52][53]
137 kW (184 hp; 186 PS) 237 N⋅m (175 lb⋅ft)
328i /
328ci[54]
1998–2000 M52TUB28
6-cyl
142 kW (190 hp; 193 PS) 280 N⋅m (207 lb⋅ft)
330i (EU) /
330ci (EU)[55][56][57]
2000–2006 M54B30
6-cyl
170 kW (228 hp; 231 PS) 300 N⋅m (221 lb⋅ft)
330i (US) /
330ci (US)[58][59]
168 kW (225 hp; 228 PS) 290 N⋅m (214 lb⋅ft)
330i ZHP /
330ci ZHP[60][61]
2003–2006 175 kW (235 hp; 238 PS) 301 N⋅m (222 lb⋅ft)
M3 (EU)[62] 2000–2006 S54B32
6-cyl
252 kW (338 hp; 343 PS) 365 N⋅m (269 lb⋅ft)
M3 (US)[63] 248 kW (333 hp; 337 PS) 355 N⋅m (262 lb⋅ft)
M3 CSL[64] 2003–2004 265 kW (355 hp; 360 PS) 370 N⋅m (273 lb⋅ft)

Diesel engines[edit]

Model[44] Years Engine Power Torque
318d[65] 2001–2003 M47D20
4-cyl
85 kW (114 hp; 116 PS) 265 N⋅m (195 lb⋅ft)
2003–2005 M47TUD20
4-cyl
85 kW (114 hp; 116 PS) 280 N⋅m (207 ft⋅lbf)
320d /
320Cd[66]
1998–2001 M47D20
4-cyl
100 kW (134 hp; 136 PS) 280 N⋅m (207 lb⋅ft)
2001–2006 M47TUD20
4-cyl
110 kW (148 hp; 150 PS) 330 N⋅m (243 lb⋅ft)
330d /
330Cd[67][68]
1999–2002 M57D30
6-cyl
135 kW (181 hp; 184 PS) 390 N⋅m (288 lb⋅ft)
2003–2005 M57TUD30
6-cyl
150 kW (201 hp; 204 PS) 410 N⋅m (302 lb⋅ft)

M3 model[edit]

E46 M3

The E46 M3, first introduced in October 2000, was available with the 3.2-litre S54 M-tuned engine. It was available in coupé and convertible body styles.

The M3's S54 engine has a redline of 8,000 rpm. As with most M engines, the S54 has 6 individual throttle bodies, in this case electronically operated (drive-by-wire throttle. The transmission options for the M3 were a 6-speed manual or the 6-speed "SMG-II" automated manual transmission.

E46/5 hatchback[edit]

E46/5 Compact

The hatchback version was marketed as the BMW 3 Series Compact.

Special models[edit]

Performance package (ZHP)[edit]

2005 BMW 330Ci ZHP in Titanium Silver

The Performance Package was an inclusive option sold in North America, which was labelled the ZHP option code in the USA and ZAM in Canada.[69] It was available for sedans from model years 2003 to 2005, and available for coupés and convertibles from 2004 to 2006.[70] It included various aesthetic changes over the regular 3 series, as well as functional and mechanical enhancements.

The ZHP was equipped with sportier camshafts and revised engine tuning to increase power output from 225 hp (168 kW) to 235 hp (175 kW) as well as an increase to the rev limiter from 6,500 rpm to 6,800 rpm.[70] Suspension was modified over the standard suspension with firmer springs and dampers, larger anti-roll bars, stronger front control arm ball joints, a lower ride height, heavy duty steering rack, and slightly more negative camber.[71] Car and Driver magazine track-tested the car, which recorder a 0–60 mph acceleration time of 5.6 seconds and a 1/4 mile time of 14.3 seconds.[71]

325i SULEV[edit]

BMW introduced a super ultra low emission vehicle (SULEV) into the selected regions of the United States to meet stricter emission standards. California, New York, and Massachusetts received the SULEV E46's in 2003, and Vermont in 2004.[72] They utilised a variant of the M54 engine named the BMW M56.[72] The M56 meets SULEV standards, as well as partial zero emission vehicle (PZEV) and zero evaporative emissions requirements.[72] The M56 is claimed to have identical power output as its M54 counterpart.[72]

M3 GTR Straßen version[edit]

M3 GTR (street version; scale model)
The P60 B40 V8 engine

In order for the M3 GTR race car to compete in the American Le Mans Series, BMW produced 10 examples of the "M3 GTR Straßen Version" (street version) in 2001.[73] As per the race M3 GTR, the roadgoing Version was powered by the BMW P60B40 4.0 L V8 engine which was slightly detuned and generated a maximum power output of 385 PS (283 kW; 380 hp) at 7,000 rpm. Power was delivered to the rear wheels via a race type 6-speed dual clutch sequential transmission with M locking differential. The engine featured dry sump lubrication as it's racing counterpart and bigger radiators.

The stiffer chassis and suspension system were a carryover from the race version. The car was lowered further than a standard M3 and featured additional strut braces between the firewall and strut towers as well as between the right shock towers. The redesigned front and rear facsias and the rear wing optimised aerodynamics.

The roof, the hood, the rear wing and front and rear facsias were made from carbon-fibre in order to reduced weight. Notable changes made to the interior included leather Recaro bucket seats, removal of rear seats and special M3 GTR sill plates.[74]

Model year changes[edit]

2000[edit]

2001 facelift (LCI)[edit]

In September 2001, the facelift (LCI) versions of the sedan and Touring were released for the 2002 model year.

  • 325i (M54 engine) replaces 323i (M52TU engine).
  • 330i (M54 engine) replaces 328i (M52TU engine).
  • 318d, 320d engine upgraded from M47 to M47TU.
  • Display for navigation system upgraded to widescreen.
  • Sedan and Touring receive revised headlights, tail-lights, grille, hood, front fenders and front bumpers.
  • Xenon headlights now include Xenon for high-beam lamps ("Bi-Xenon headlights")

2003[edit]

In March 2003, the facelift (LCI) versions of the coupe and convertible models (except M3) were released for the 2004 model year.

  • Navigation system upgraded to Mark IV version, which is DVD-based.
  • Auxiliary input for sound system becomes available.
  • SULEV engine option (M56) becomes available for 325 models with automatic transmission.
  • Manual transmission for 330 models upgraded from 5-speed to 6-speed.
  • Coupes and convertibles receive revised headlights, tail-lights (LED), grille, hood and front bumper.
  • Adaptive headlights available for coupe and convertible models
  • 330d engine upgraded from M57 to M57TU.

Production and sales[edit]

The highest selling year for the E46 chassis was 2002, when 561,249 vehicles were sold worldwide.[75]

Motorsport[edit]

Andy Priaulx was the champion of the 2004 European Touring Car Championship season and 2005 World Touring Car Championship season driving a 320i.[76] Franz Engstler won the 2006 Asian Touring Car Championship season in a 320i.[77]

The car has further competed in the British Touring Car Championship, the European Touring Car Cup and the Russian Touring Car Championship.

Year Championship Result
2003 European Touring Car Championship 3
2004 Danish Touringcar Championship 1
2004 European Touring Car Championship 1
2005 Danish Touringcar Championship 1
2005 Italian Superturismo Championship 1
2005 World Touring Car Championship 1
2006 Asian Touring Car Championship 1
2006 British Touring Car Championship 11
2008 European Touring Car Cup 1

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