Finding a low-mileage E46-generation BMW M3 with the desirable six-speed manual transmission option is extremely difficult and this example currently for sale on Bring A Trailer shows that there is an insatiable amount of demand for them.
What you’re looking at is a 2003 model year M3 painted in Laguna Seca Blue with just under 16,000 miles (25,749 km) on the clock. At the time of writing, the car had attracted a highest bid of $52,000 with six days left in the auction.
The listing reveals that this M3 features a number of OEM and aftermarket add-ons. For example, the car includes the trunk lid, carbon fiber roof panel, and rear diffuser of an E46 M3 CSL. Additionally, there is a European-spec front bumper and brake ducts. The car sits on a set of 19-inch aftermarket (CSL-style) wheels and also includes JRZ RS1 coilovers, adjustable front and rear sway bars, a Beisan Systems VANOS unit, and Turner Motorsports subframe reinforcements. Braking is provided by six-piston Brembo calipers at front with 380 mm discs and four-piston units at the rear with 355 mm discs.
Inside, the car appears to be in superb condition. Aftermarket alterations include the fitment of leather-trimmed Recaro Sportster CS seats, an AutoSolutions short shift kit, and CSL door panels. There are also a number of carbon fiber inserts covered in clear protective film.
It is unclear how much power this exact car has, but from the factory, the E46 M3 pumped out a total of 333 hp and 262 lb-ft (355 Nm) of torque from its 3.2-liter naturally-aspirated S54 inline-six engine.