This BMW M3 E46 Costs More Than A Brand New M3 G80

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It's nearly $10,000 more than a box-fresh BMW M3 G80.

For over 35 years, the BMW M3 has come to represent the gold standard for high-performance compact sedans and coupes. Try as they might, but rivals Mercedes-Benz and Audi still have not managed to capture the essence of the legendary Bimmer; it's a truly special motorcar, no matter the generation.

It's the third-generation E46 M3 that is most fondly remembered. With a glorious 3.2-liter straight-six under the hood producing 343 horsepower, it was quick in a straight line and even better in the bends, thanks to razor-sharp handling. Now a modern classic, people are willing to part with big sums of money to own one, especially in the case of the lightweight M3 CSL.

Following the trend, Sky Motor Cars (a dealership in West Chester, Pennsylvania) is asking a whopping $79,900 for a regular 2003 example - nearly $10,000 more than what BMW will charge for a brand new G80 M3. Is the high asking price worth it? Well, that's up to you to decide.

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With pristine paintwork, a flawless interior, and a mere 7,563 miles on the odometer, it's essentially the closest you can get to owning a new E46 M3. It boasts a desirable spec, too. Painted in Carbon Black Metallic, it's the consummate understated M car, with a hint of blue shining through in the light. The 19-inch M Double-Spoke forged wheels look great, too.

Inside, the Gray Nappa leather looks as soft and supple as the day it left the Regensburg factory and heightens the luxury in the fully-loaded cabin. The original owner didn't skimp on anything, opting for the optional Harmon Kardon sound system, onboard satellite navigation, xenon headlights, eight-way adjustable power seats, and more. Just when you thought things couldn't get any better, this particular model sports the desirable six-speed manual transmission.

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Now to the sordid topic of coin. Yes, $79,900 is a chunk of change, and, yes, a new M3 will leave this modern classic trailing in its wake. However, when it comes to style, outright driving pleasure, and collectibility, the older model will come out on top. Besides, it's not exactly what you'd describe as slow. With a 0 to 60 mph time of five seconds, it's quick enough and will still prove a pleasurable steer on any mountain pass.

While expensive, it's nowhere near as bad as some of the crazy price tags we've seen attached to modern classics lately. Not too long ago, a 2008 Honda S2000 with 822 miles on the clock was listed for an incredible $149,995. Cheeky? Perhaps - but there are myriad, deep-pocketed collectors out there willing to pay extreme prices for well-preserved icons.

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