BMW M3s have been highly regarded among the mod community and “built not bought” for years now, because they combine excellent performance, great looks and a relatively affordable price. Currently, the E46 M3s are among the cheapest on the market, likely due to their age. It’s a bit outdated now for anyone looking for a “modern” M3, but it’s also not big enough to be considered a truly classic yet.
This has allowed a whole new generation of fashion designers to choose a cheap one and make it their own, and there are countless designs out there. From stationary structures to the latest racing machines, the E46 is as versatile as it is popular. There are also adjustments for every budget: from literally a few dollars up to ten thousand dollars in transfers, it is really up to each individual owner. Let’s take a look at ten of the best mods that instantly make any E46 look cooler.
10 custom wrap
The easiest and most noticeable way for an owner to add their flavor to their vehicle is to get a custom wrap. Covers are great because they allow owners to go with their designs however they want while keeping the original paint underneath so the car can be returned at any time.
This is good news for collectors, who always value a vehicle in its original paint above its aftermarket paint. It also gives the owner complete freedom to switch up his car designs as frequently as he likes, without having to repaint anything.
9 bunny rocket kit
Want to add some attitude and annoy some purists? A wide body kit is the way to go, and Rocket Bunny is one of the leading tool makers. They’ve supplied aftermarket parts for nearly every popular mod favorite, so it’s no surprise that they now offer a kit for the E46 as well.
Oftentimes, the Rocket Bunny kits come alongside other mods like a boxed suspension and interior trim, so you’re unlikely to see an E46 that has the RB kit as its only mod. It’s worth noting that adding a wider body kit is an irreversible change since it involves drilling into the stock body panels but hey, that’s all part of the owners appeal.
8 under the twilight
Some may dismiss it as a fading trend of The Fast and the Furious mid-20th century days, but it’s hard to deny that adding some delicious under-glare doesn’t make the M3 look any better. It works best when the car is parked, to begin with, so there is hardly any room for light to escape from under the car.
Adding underlights is illegal in some countries around the world, so it’s best to check your local laws before deciding to add any to your vehicle. It might sound cool, but it probably won’t be fined, especially in areas that are subject to stricter law enforcement.
7 BBS . wheels
There is a great deal of choice when it comes to sourcing aftermarket rims for the E46, but one particularly popular choice is the BBS kit. Many of the high-profile Instagram-based E46s use BBS rims, and they look perfect for the car’s style and age.
Alternatively, rims from the likes of the Rotiform or Work can look great depending on the type of chassis the owner is looking for. It’s worth paying a little extra for a branded set on a random set from eBay, because that alone can change the look of an entire vehicle.
6 Bag Suspension System
A separate look has always suited E46s, but given how well the car rides, it’s not worth sacrificing its road capabilities in the pursuit of better grooming. That’s where air suspension comes in: when the car is stationary, it can be lowered to sit on its wheels, but on the road, the suspension height can return to stock.
It would be more expensive to buy an air suspension than coil or (shock horror) just cut the springs, but it’s definitely worth it given the versatility it offers the car. Expect to pay several thousand dollars for a full set of air suspension from most retailers.
5 racing seats
Not only does the exterior need to look great in the best project cars, but the interior as well. Additionally, racing seats are a must-have for anyone planning to dramatically increase the performance potential of their build.
Aftermarket seats from the likes of the Recaro or Bride are always a good choice, but it’s also a good idea to replace them in seats from newer and higher BMW. For example, the car above has red seats from the latest F80 M3.
4 angel eye flashlights
An easy way to make a car look more modern is to update its headlights to LEDs, and angel eye lights are the best options for the E46. They’ve gained popularity in recent years, in part because they look great as an alternative to traditional pop-up headlight bulbs.
The E46 doesn’t have pop-ups but it still looks absolutely gorgeous, and even the best owners can shade the lights to their individual tastes too. It’s worth noting that, like the downlights, changing the color of the headlights is illegal in some places, so it’s best to check before switching anything.
3 Hood slots
Really, there are two ways to add hood vents to the E46: making real vents, which would involve cutting out part of the hood or adding fake vents. Fakes are easier to install and cheaper to buy but will be noticeable up close.
Having said that, there is no shame in using fake cars, as most modern cars use them anyway. Honda Civic Type R for example He sparked a lot of controversy over his use of fake slotsbut if one of the world’s largest automakers can do it, the E46 can do it, too.
2 window shade
Cheap, easy and quick to install, window tint is one of the simplest mods ever. But, do it right and it can make the car look a lot better. A slightly reflective tint adds cohesion to the build with glossy paint, and black windows add the look of an old-school VIP cruiser.
It’s also a practically useful modification, as it gives the driver some privacy and reduces sun glare as well. Just watch out for cheap, sticky dye, as it can flake and look absolutely hideous.
1 roll cage
For the more performance-oriented builders, the roll cage is one of the most expensive modifications to install but also the most rewarding. Adding one will mean stripping the car of its chassis and adding it to the cage body, so it’s best left to the professionals.
It would also cost a fortune, as high-quality steel and labor costs aren’t cheap. But it’s not just a way to make the E46 look cooler than ever, but it’s also a way to meet safety standards for entering competitive racing. Modifying a good looking M3 is one thing, but to make a great looking competition racing car take things to the next level.
These classic European cars look completely sick modified
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