BMW E46 330Ci Sport Cabriolet
- Mileage: 59,910
- Year: 2005
- MOT Expiry: August 2019
- Exterior Colour: Mystic Blue Metallic
- Interior Colour: Light Beige 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, Rain sensitive wipers, Self-dimming rear view mirror, Automatic Xenon lights, Electric folding door mirrors, HiFi speaker system, CD Changer, On-board computer, Dynamic Stability Control (DSC), Runflat tyre indicator, Front fog lights, Clear indicators, High gloss Shadowline exterior trim, Fine wood interior trim, Velour carpet mats, Warning triangle and first aid kit, Complete BMW toolkit, Spare wheel, Spare key.
This E46 is finished in Mystic Blue Metallic, which makes for a lovely combination with the cream leather. The paintwork is absolutely first-rate with hardly any signs of age other than a few light stone chips on the edge of the front bumper. The car is pin sharp along both sides and after careful inspection the paint all seems original other than the bonnet. Having just been fully detailed and machine polished the depth of shine is superb. All of the plastic trims retain their matte black appearance, glass and lights are free from any cracks or discolouration, and the immaculate soft-top works perfectly. The hood can even be operated remotely from the key. This is probably the cleanest example we have ever seen.
In keeping with the exterior the interior also presents in lovely condition. It has all of the desirable factory options including heated electric memory seats, folding mirrors, and a CD changer. The welcoming leather upholstery retains its soft textured finish and is free from any cracks or major wear. The dash and driver controls are all immaculate and everything works just as it should including the air conditioning, which has just been recharged. In the foot wells the original cream 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 hardly run in with 59k miles on the clock. It has just benefited from an Inspection II service at a renowned marque specialist. The auto ‘box is the perfect match for the 330 with almost undetectable gear changes. All in all, a real driving treat.
WHEELS, TYRES & BRAKES
The E46 is fitted with 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 very tidy condition and free from any unsightly curb marks. They are shod in quality branded tyres all of which have plenty of tread remaining. Along with the recent service the car also had new ball joints, rear dampers, top mounts, and bump stops. The brakes were also fully checked; we were advised that they are in perfect working order having seen only light use since they were last replaced.
The car is accompanied by the original BMW leather document holder, the service book, and all owners’ manuals. The service book is complete with entries at the following mileages: 6k, 9k, 14k, 24k, 42k, 56k, and most recently at 59k miles. The last service was the all-important Inspection II, which was carried out at 59,905 miles in August 2018. The brake fluid, coolant, and battery were also replaced at this time, along with some new suspension components.
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