2005 BMW M3 'Competition Package' Coupe
|Engine||In-line DOHC 6-cylinder, 3246cc|
|Brakes||Discs with ABS|
Released in 2000, BMW’s third generation M3 was the last of the series powered by the classic in-line naturally aspirated six, the 3.2-litre unit offering the highest specific output of any naturally-aspirated car on the market at that time. With individual throttle-bodies, VANOS variable valve-timing, forged steel conrods and crankshaft plus graphite-coated cast aluminium pistons, the S54 motor gave almost instant response and revved all the way to the 8200rpm cut-out, developing a peak 252kW at 7900rpm. Power was delivered to the rear wheels through a Getrag six-speed manual gearbox or BMW’s SMG sequential six-speed transmission with launch control. The M3 was a fabulous blend of practicality and performance, adding wider wheel arches, intakes, chunkier bumpers and a discreet rear spoiler to add a street fighter stance to the elegant E46 coupe. Under the skin, the BMW retained the basic suspension layout common to all E46 models, namely MacPherson struts up front and a multi-link rear set-up but wider track, forged alloy front lower control arms, stiffer anti roll-bars and coil springs and gas-filled shock absorbers were just some of the changes setting the M-cars apart. Special wheels, bigger brakes and a bespoke interior further enhanced the M3’s appeal, while bi-xenon headlamps, a 6.5 inch sat nav screen, front strut brace and LED taillights were just some of the updates made over the E46 M3’s six-year lifespan. Arguably the best all-round E46 M3, BMW introduced a special Competition Package in 2005, slotting neatly between the standard M3 and lightweight CSL and costing an additional $10,900 over the standard model’s list price of $142,000. Unofficially known as the Club Sport, the package added CSL-style 19-inch rims, quicker-ratio steering rack, bigger front disc brakes and a thicker suede-covered steering wheel. Just 100 are thought to have been sold in Australia, of which only a fraction featured a six-speed conventional manual rather than the troublesome SMG box and the Club Sport was uniquely available in Interlagos Blue. With CSL values rising fast, the limited edition M3 Club Sport looks set to follow and they rarely come on the market.