Making an Entrance:
Part of showing off your car is in the arrival. You don’t want to drive up and have no one turn around because your car sounds stock do you? An aftermarket intake + exhaust will make your car growl with every rev so you won’t have trouble grabbing attention. Just make sure you car already looks the part before worrying about how it sounds.
If you’re going to be popping your hood to show off your engine bay why not give it an extra touch of style with a nice looking intake? Nothing looks more boring than the factory intake box. As an added bonus, if you’re taking your car out to have a little fun, you get to enjoy a little bit of extra power as well as a nicer sound from your engine bay.
Injen intakes are fantastic. The wide piping and high flow filter will give you extra airflow while the included heat shield helps ensure that your engine is getting nice cool air. This Injen intake for the E46 M3 is carb certified (CARB EO# D-476-5) and is sure the make your car more fun to drive and nicer to look at when you’re showing off that sweet S54.
The Eventuri intake for the E46 M3 is your top of the line option. Eventuri makes all their intakes using a combination of their signature Carbon Fiber Intake Housing, their proprietary inverted cone filter, and CNC machined Aluminum heat shielding/MAF housings. Basically this intake will give you amazing airflow, look great, and sound absolutely incredible. One note of caution, because of the filter design you will need to be diligent about cleaning this intake, otherwise your power will suffer due to poor airflow.
If you’re buying an exhaust for a “show” car, your number one priority is obviously going to be looks. However, keep in mind that the E46 M3 is a performance car, and part of the fun of driving a performance car is getting hard on the throttle every once in a while. As such, you do want an exhaust that will produce a nice exhaust tone to give you tingles while you drive…and to turn some heads when you pull up to the show venue. Oh and you’re going to saving a decent amount of weight whichever exhaust you end up buying as an added bonus. The factory muffler is actually really heavy (54+ lbs).
Honestly, listing a bunch of exhausts here and telling you all about how much power they’ll give your car and the deep aggressive tone they make would just be a waste of time, both yours and ours. Below we’ve listed a few of our top picks just based on our experience with the manufacturers’ products overall, but this list is not comprehensive and we encourage you to explore other options if you don’t like any of the exhausts we list. Feel free to peruse our assortment of exhaust options. If one works well with your budget then do a bit of research onto forums and YouTube and you’ll find more examples of how the exhaust looks and sounds. We can only provide so much information on our listings and you deserve to have a complete idea of how an exhaust will look and sound on your car before buying.
Please note, some exhausts shown in the videos below also have modified midpipes and/or headers. The tone of the exhausts will remain pretty constant but the volume will change depending on what other parts are installed.
Remus is one of the most respected exhaust manufacturers in the world, we can always safely recommend their products because of the insane level of design and testing that goes into every single piece they manufacture. Remus’s production is so refined that they are trusted by several car manufacturers to produce their OEM exhausts. If you’re interested in knowing a little more about the company we recently posted a blog article about the Remus manufacturing and testing facility. There’s also a video at the top of each page (episode 1 and 2) if you’re not in the mood to read. Essentially, Remus manufacturing utilizes the very best in materials and machinery, but the real testament to their dedication is their testing room. Their testing chamber is a temperature controlled Semi-Anechoic chamber (walls and ceiling have sound deadening material) with an in-ground dynamometer, so they can do sound testing in a consistent controlled environment. This chamber paired with their huge array of microphones gives them ridiculous amounts of information on even the tiniest of irregularities or undesirable vibrations which they are then able to isolate and determine their cause. The E46 M3 exhaust by Remus is no exception so if you like the sound you should feel confident in fitting a Remus on your vehicle.
One of our more popular offerings for the E46 M3 is definitely the Rogue Engineering Diablo exhaust. This axleback is priced very competitively and offers a rich sound without feeling too shouty. You don’t get as much of the E46 M3’s common “rasp” with this exhaust but you also don’t get some of the top end grunt that goes with it. Overall it’s a great choice if you want a reasonable sound at a reasonable price.
Another manufacturer that produces OEM exhausts for some big names in the industry, Eisenmann exhausts are top quality and have a very distinct personality. Their exhaust for the E46 M3 enhances the factory sound without feeling too coarse or unrefined. At the top end it has an awesome tone that still sounds like signature S54 but a little cleaner. It has a slightly deeper tone to it than some others so for anyone who is worried about their M3 sounding like a rice rocket this exhaust is a good countermeasure.
Our resident E46 M3 owner Allison has the Supersprint Race Muffler on her M3 (along with midpipes and such) and we can confirm firsthand that it sounds incredible. It has a bit more muscle to it than some others if that makes sense, the tone feels a bit more aggressive than the deeper tone of the Eisenmann. This is a very popular option among M3 owners strictly because of the insane sound, which is reasonable given that sound is the main factor for most people buying an exhaust. Supersprint also a “street” option available if you’re looking for a similar tone but just a little quieter.
Making an Entrance…(page 5) – Current
- Engine Bay