BMW E46 330Ci Sport Cabriolet
- Mileage: 20,322
- Year: 2002
- MOT Expiry: July 2019
- Exterior Colour: Titanium Silver Metallic
- Interior Colour: Black Leather
- Top speed: 155
- 0-60mph: 6.5
- BHP: 228
- Transmission: 5-Speed Automatic
- Engine Capacity: 2979cc
- Engine Configuration: Straight 6
The BMW E46 was the fourth generation of the BMW 3-Series, which was produced from 1998 to 2006. In May 1995, the general exterior design of the E46 by Erik Goplen 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 bodywork for the 3-Series range in February 1996. Based on the E36 body shell, the design team put an emphasis on improving aerodynamics and increasing the car's aggressive stance.
The body shell of the E46 was subsequently claimed by BMW to be 70% more rigid than its E36 predecessor, and aluminium was used for an increased quantity of suspension components, in order to decrease unsprung mass. In tune with BMW's core values regarding handling dynamics, the E46 was released with a front engine rear-wheel drive layout and a 50/50 weight distribution. The car was considered by many as setting the benchmark in its class when it came to performance and handling, that was thanks to the E46’s near-perfect weight distribution and sophisticated rear suspension set up; neither the Audi A4, Mercedes C-class, or Alfa 156 could touch it. It was available with a range of four- and six-cylinder engines, as well as a powerful diesel option.
In March 2003, facelift versions of the coupé and convertible models were released for the 2004 model year. The updates included revised headlights, a revised grille, bonnet and front bumper, new LED rear lights, and an upgraded DVD-based navigation system.
Electric folding soft-top in black, M Sports Package II, Sports suspension, Aerodynamics Package, Multifunction M leather steering wheel, Heated and electrically adjustable front Sports seats with memory, Front central armrest, Automatic air conditioning, Self-dimming rear view mirror, Xenon lights, Electric folding door mirrors, HiFi speaker system, CD player, On-board computer, Front fog lights, Clear indicators, High gloss Shadowline exterior trim, Alu Black Cube interior trim, Velour carpet mats, Warning triangle and first aid kit, BMW toolkit, Spare wheel.
The Titanium Silver paintwork of this 20k mile M Sport is absolutely first-rate. Aside from some discreet marking to the underside of the front bumper there is little to distinguish the condition of this car from a nearly new example. It is pin sharp along both sides and after careful inspection the paint is almost entirely original throughout; following on from a full detail and machine polish the depth of shine is superb. All of the plastic trims retain a healthy black appearance, the glass and lights are free from damage, and the immaculate soft-top works perfectly at the touch of a button. With both the body and underside entirely rust-free, this certainly is one of the cleanest E46s we have seen.
In keeping with the exterior the cabin space also presents beautifully. The comfortable leather upholstery retains its soft textured finish and is without any cracks or major wear. The dash and driver controls are all immaculate and everything works just as it should, including the air conditioning. Additional specification includes heated electric seats and electric folding door mirrors. In the foot wells the original velour overmats are retained and, like the rest of the carpets, remain in very nice condition. The boot area is also immaculate and every tool is present in the BMW kit. A spare wheel is located beneath the boot carpet.
ENGINE & TRANSMISSION
The 3-litre straight six is the pick of the bunch, offering effortless silky-smooth driving while still packing a punch when you need to get a shift on. This example is barely run in with a mere 20k miles on the clock. The auto ‘box is the perfect match for the 330Ci and boasts almost undetectable gear changes. All in all, a real driving treat.
WHEELS, TYRES & BRAKES
The E46 is fitted with its original 17-inch light alloys that allow for a slightly larger tyre, giving the car an even smoother drive than the more common 18-inch wheels. All are in perfect condition having just been refurbished to the highest standard by Lepsons. They are shod in a matching set of Falken tyres with ample tread remaining.
The BMW was first registered in September 2002. The History File is complete with the original leather document holder, service book and all owner’s manuals. The MOT is valid until July 2019.
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