BMW Chief Says “I Don’t Want To Hear That Shit Anymore” About The E46 Being The Last Great 3-Series

BMW is sick and tired of people saying recent 3-Series generations have failed to live up to the legendary E46.

During an interview with Motoring at the Paris Auto Show, BMW development chief Klaus Frohlich said this spurred the carmaker on to make the new 3-Series the most dynamic ever.

“It has to beat everybody in the segment in driving dynamics because all the Australian, UK and American journalists say ‘ooh the E46 CSL was the last real 3 Series’.

“I do not want to hear that shit anymore,” Frohlich said.

New looks, new tech, and a better driving experience.

The centerpiece of the new BMW-3-Series which will make it more dynamic is the implementation of the marque’s CLAR architecture. The vehicle’s underpinnings help to slash weight by up to 55 kg (121 lbs), result in a 1 cm (0.39-inch) lower center of gravity, and a wider track. Additionally, the new 3-Series comes outfitted with passive dampers.

“First thing and this is for me the most important thing; you can drive fast and completely relaxed. You don’t feel how fast you are,” Frohlich said of the vehicle’s new driving dynamics.

“Second thing and this thing is a big achievement; this car is much more valuable, it has much better materials and it is solid like a rock.”

The new 3-Series will go on sale in March 2019 and in the United States, the range will open up with the 330i. This model is powered by a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder that pumps out 255 hp and 295 lb-ft (400 Nm) of torque. Buyers in the United States will be pleased to hear that the faster M340i and M340i xDrive M Performance will arrive in Spring 2019 with a 382 hp 3.0-liter straight-six engine.

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  • Tan Lee

    The E46 still turns head today. I saw it parked up against a modern A4 and it didn’t look any older then the Audi.

    • SteersUright

      surprisingly, it really still does look fantastic, but only the coupe and especially the M3 version. Definition of a classic design that endures. My only concern with these and the e92 V8’s as well, the rod bearing issue is a real thing and you have to sink about $3-$4k every 2-3 years or so for a rebuild, per my BMW speciality shop.

      • Jp

        As a former owner of an E93, I can’t agree more with the stinky reliability of these cars…

  • Six_Tymes

    HE CANT HANDLE TRUTH!! I’m sorry but this guy is out of touch. What a Jerk, HE IS PROBABLY THE SAME PERSON WHO APPROVED THE IDEA OF THE 2 SERIES CANTED DRIVERS SEAT. The E46 IS AND WAS THE LAST GREAT 3, PERIOD.

    • Cobrajet

      Every other car in world also got fat and heavy, it’s not just BMW. If the 3 series too big, you have the 1 and 2 series which are smaller than even the E46.

  • nunomaiaGMR

    E46 was great. But the E90 was even better. The F30 was a bit softer and mehh. G20 looks fine and technical improvements sound great. That Frohlich dude is probably an engineer without all the PR BS skills we are used to.

    • SteersUright

      Beg to differ. My e46 felt light, agile and very connected to the driver. My e92 coupe felt remote, like a video game, and far more numb despite much more power.
      All I know is, BMW can make great driving cars when they want to. Now, if only they could make them far more reliable.

      • assassingtr

        Had an E46 330ci and an M3, then a family member bought a 335i E90. Definitely felt the E46 was more light, direct and agile. The m3 felt almost Go-Kart levels good steering.

      • Larry Qualls

        I loved my E92! Actually considering another…

  • StrangerGP

    We’ll see about those materials. The plastics in the previous gen of the 3 series were pretty poor quality for a premium priced car.

    • SteersUright

      Particularly in the base models, it was quite awful. There are many economy cars that do a better job these days.

  • Liam Paul

    I drove one, was not impressed, the last great 3 was the E46 … LOL JK I dont care if this new one is as good as the old one, the car does look very nice inside and outside but I think todays cars are all just so well balanced in design that its harder to make a car stand out of the pack

    • SteersUright

      You drove the new one??

      • Liam Paul

        see where it says JK?

  • DMax

    Not feeling how fast you’re going is the exact antithesis to a dynamic and engaging car. That’s why miatas are so fun, you feel like you’re going way faster that you are. Feeling relaxed while going fast is something I’d want in a minivan.

    • Julien Lachemoi

      You saved me the effort to find a way to say this in meaningful manner.

    • Shahul Usman

      Correct.. this line..

      You don’t feel how fast you are,” Frohlich said of the vehicle’s new driving dynamics.

      THATS the problem.. BMW doesnt get it anymore..get an AMG

    • SteersUright

      Exactly. Feeling relaxed while going fast is for an S-Class, not a BMW driving machine.

    • Rick Alexander

      Here’s the problem with new cars like the 3 series. They’re great cars without question. The conundrum however, is making them accessible to a wide audience, while still appealing to the enthusiasts who fell in love with the 3 series from its inception . The E46 was definitely a great car in its day. The current 3 series appeals to a much broader audience. Businessmen/women, the “me too” crowd, people who can afford it, etc. I have no doubt, the new 3 series will sell like sliced bread, but will unfortunately be lacking in soul. Does that make it a lesser driver’s car than the E46? Of course not. It just makes it different. If you want an E46, by a used low mileage one. That car is gone, and I’m not mad. Just a little sad. You could always buy a new one, strip it of all its luxury amenities, drop in a 3.2 BMW mill, get a custom exhaust, and lower the suspension. But then again…

  • ace_9

    E46 CSL was the last real 3 series. Screw some Klaus responsible for overpriced, overweight and overcomplicated exhibition of car technology. I guess he went for “the most unreliable and computer driven 3 series”.

  • LJ

    1. It’s super great.
    B. It’s more awesomer than before.
    Thirdly: It’s more valuable because it’s made of magic.

  • SteersUright

    Its looks far better in these photos than any I’ve seen thus far. In fact, its growing on me for sure. I’d love to see them shrink the current M4 a bit though, and seriously lighten it up. That said, this 3-series is looking very exciting. Too bad it makes no sense as a brand new car. The leases are always stupid high until 4-5 year after initial launch and the MSRP with options is also usually stratospheric only for massive depreciation to hit shortly after driving off the lot.

  • BlackPegasus

    LOL 😆

  • lagunas3ca

    E46 M3 Laguna Seca Blue. Enough said.

    • Belthronding

      say no more

  • 1 lostVW

    BMW management is at it again… Don’t tell me the truth, tell me what I want to hear. While the car may drive like Klaus Frohlich demanded of the engineers, the style of the car is so dated it is impossible to tell it from the last generation… impossible to see the difference to people that do not study BMW’s and just want a hot Luxury car that makes a personal statement.. If you buy the “new” 3 in the same color as the last generation 3, your neighbors will not know you got a new car, and that is as important a test of complete design and engineering prowess as any stupid proclamation from an arrogant little man lost in his own world… people “customers” to BMW vote with their wallets and BMW is falling like a stone in the important markets, like the USA & China, largely because of the stale and dated “shit” that Frohlich demands be built… so must be nice to have such personal power, you can drive a global company into the ground while making your ego feel good… what a looser.

  • ksegg

    The problem with BMW is that it chases MB too much in the past few years, and lost focus on what it does best.

    Making sports sedans and sports-oriented vehicles.

    • Bo Hanan

      Agreed!

  • iion

    I like only e21, e30 and f30.
    E46 is the ugliest BMW 3 ever. I speak only about design.

    • Geralt of Livia

      its the most beautiful model of bmw what you talking about

  • Mr. EP9

    Someone’s butthurt.

  • ➡️ProtectOurHeritage⬅️

    Still happy with my E46. Haven’t seen anything good enough from BMW to consider upgrading yet.

  • eye.surgeon

    The fact that he thinks not feeling the speed and expensive materials are what is going to make this a great M3 already tells me he doesn’t know what makes a great M3.

  • Axel Cortez

    I hope every single car journalist says the e46 is better, just to piss him off

  • Jason Panamera

    BMW E46 was last true 3 series, Mercedes W124 was last true E class, Jaguar X350 was last true XJ, Windows XP was last true windows and McDonald’s Big N’ Tasty was last true burger. I am also tired of hearing such weak complainig. And it’s almost done by people who cannot afford such stuff and are living only by gossips.

  • roy

    The thing is all the cars are now bigger. Which means more weight. Which means shitty handling. It is as simple as that. Also the fact that all the cars are now loaded with digital tech doesn’t help the Driving pleasure case either.
    But having said that a car now has to do a lot more than just Driving you from one point to another.
    So ultimately coming back to this specific article, the E46 is perhaps better to drive, but the G20 is definitely a better car overall. Also back then when it came to driving thrills BMW was the choice by default but now the competition has caught up.

  • nastinupe

    Then the post a pic of the E46 and I’m like wow, that is a pretty BMW… oh… that’s the E46, never mind ha ha ha.

  • Bo Hanan

    Frolich should: “Sag ihm, er soll den Arsch der Fans küssen.”

  • It’s a shame that the next 3-series will be 60 kg lighter than the G20 with even better materials inside and be a “ultimateRRR driving machine”, not the mention the glorious kink…

    OK, kidding aside, here goes the original quote from Frohlich:
    “I mean, come on, you people! Forget already that a long time ago BMW built elegant cars that were really good to drive and enjoy these things with piggyback ride qualities and very large screens inside.”

  • Evan McMaster

    The new one looks like if a Lexus IS and Mercedes C Class had an unfortunate baby

  • Whoah that’s really a harsh word, but I kinda agree with him, E46 is E46. You simply can’t made a new car that is the same.

    If we stuck with that idea, we would probably driving a Model T right now.

  • Vassilis

    Well… make an M3/4 that’s better then.

  • Infinite1

    If he doesn’t want to hear it anymore then build the future cars that will be worthy of the name

  • panda-R

    The E90 M3 was the last best M3 sedan made!

  • Larry Qualls

    My sentiments exactly!

  • KidRed

    Not even close in the looks department. This new Lexus/Infiniti mashup with a unsightly front end is just the opposite of what BMW styling has been in the past.

  • Cobrajet

    I agree with him. The E46 is not coming back, get over it.

  • Cobrajet

    Set it to sport mode and the ride may not be so mushy.

  • Wandering_Spirit

    He can rant as much as he wants. Not even marketing and the rest can tell a good eye with taste when a car is well designed. Whether he likes it or not, that BMW is the baseline based on which anyone who drove or lived to see them in their time scores all newer models. And newer models are anonymous and bland like an Audi. BMW, like other brands, has forgotten how make original cars in order to appeal to a broader audience. That translates into mediocrity, for many reasons.

    • Dariush

      just wait to see the car IRL, at least

      • Wandering_Spirit

        I might. But it doesn’t look any nice. Sides and front in particular.

  • Wandering_Spirit

    Exactly so.

  • Alduin

    Atleast BMW is finally improving their interiors and interior quality. BMW’s from like 2006-2017 have crappy interiors.

  • CBV2020

    And some people believed the design and beauty of transportation was lost when the horse detached from the buggy–can’t please everyone as time, design and perspective moves.

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