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BMW E46 M3 crippled by America’s finest V10

We really can’t tell whether it's amazing or plain horrible

Owning a refined sports car like the BMW E46 M3 is more than enough for everybody, but we’re not here to tell you about decency today. We’re here to talk about a crazy engine swap. 

First of all, let’s remind ourselves what this car used to be: a 17-year-old German sports coupé with 338 hp (343 PS) and 269 lb-ft (365 Nm) of torque coming out of a 3.2-liter inline-six unit mounted at the front. It’s rear-wheel driven through a six-speed manual, and it scored an 8:22.0 time on the Nürburgring — not to mention it can go a lot faster if you know how to tweak it.

However, not everybody is tickled the right way by all that’s been written above. Georgia-based Sulava Racing Team decided this well put together M3 can do a lot better with a bigger, more powerful lump under its hood, so they swapped the S54B32 inline-six engine with an all-American 8.3-liter V10 from a first-gen Viper SRT-10 Roadster.

“Under its hood” might not be the most accurate description here, as the engine lid cannot fully cover the engine anymore: the hood has a big square cut in it in order to fit the new power plant. Furthermore, the body (and the car’s front track, implicitly) got a little wider for the same reason. 

There are no words on the vehicle’s newfound performance but, considering that the “vee ten” is stock, we can tell you what the power figures are: 510 hp (517 PS) and 535 lb-ft (725 Nm) of torque. We are not sure this setup improves the car’s handling but it’s definitely a unique approach. Except for drifting. As we've seen before, a V10 E46 would make a great drift car

 

via The Drive

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