Imola Red. That right there sets the tone for what is to come. The BMW E46 M3 is still regarded as one of the best vehicles out of Bavaria Motor Werks to ever wear the ///M badge, and here we are in 2014, two generations of 3-series later, and the E46 M3 will still steal the spotlight. If the M3 is a woman in an elegant gown in other colors, Imola Red is the E46’s “little red dress.”

imola-red-bmw-e46-006The E46 M3 Quad exhaust tips peek out from under a carbon fiber diffuser – a staple as classic in Teutonic auto design as the Hofmeister Kink, and a set of bright, crisp and tasteful E46 LED tail lamps flesh out the rear end. The tips just barely protrude, like a woman coyly batting her lashes. The intensity of the red almost invites spirited driving, adding fire to the passions of the driver within all of us.

imola-red-bmw-e46-008Perhaps it’s the details that makes the E46 M3 so iconic – the ///M Fender Vent Grilles? The gorgeous E46 M3 wheels?

Maybe it’s the subtle power bulge in the hood, or the gaping maw in the center of the front fascia, threatening to gobble up birds or small animals that dared get too close.


Maybe it’s the flow and curve of the bulging fenders, straining as if trying to hold the car in. Perhaps it’s the Imola Red or perhaps it’s just the E46’s Exterior, but the hip line of this particular generation is especially sexy.

imola-red-bmw-e46-004 imola-red-bmw-e46-005

This buxom beauty has been a delight to have around as we’ve done some work to the car to give it a few subtle upgrades before we have to ship it off for its new home across the sea, in the faraway land of Dubai. Very few cars manufactured new these days have personality- a soul, if you will – and this special Imola Red E46 M3 has one. Loading this beauty onto the transport wasn’t the usual sending a happy customer home, it felt more like saying goodbye to an old flame.

While we won’t see her again on these shores, we can be happy knowing that this special car is going to a good home.

Looking for parts for BMW E46, whether it’s a 3-series or an M3? We’ve got everything you could want to give your E46 the look you always dreamed it’d have. Talk to the BMW Modification Experts at ModBargains – Chat live at or call 714-582-3330 to speak to a fellow auto enthusiast about your build. 

Story by Nicholas Gregson
Photos by Doug Johnson, The Driven Lifestyle