Little too much wind noise, Matt Farah?
Every generation BMW 3 Series is a joy to drive, so don’t feel too badly if you don’t have the funds to buy a brand new one. There are plenty of fine used examples out there for considerably less bank. And one of our favorite 3 Series is the E46, sold from 1998 until 2006. Design wise, BMW absolutely nailed it, inside and out. It still looks good today thanks to its clean and elegant lines. But there was one particular trim that was especially popular, and for good reason. The 330ci ZHP was a performance package sold exclusively in North America from 2003 to 2006.
Compared to the regular 3 Series, it came with an enhanced body kit, modified suspension thanks to firmer springs, dampers and anti-roll bars, and a lowered ride height, and was a manual transmission only. Power was also increased from 225 hp to 235 hp, which, obviously, isn’t much.
And that’s where this 330ci ZHP coupe owner decided to make an improvement. This latest One Take with Matt Farah features the aforementioned E46, which has been upgraded with a Vortech Centrifugal Supercharger system, contributing an additional 100 hp. And yes, that does make a difference. Along with a minor suspension upgrade and a few other tweaks here and there, this 330ci ZHP has been brought up to today’s 3 Series (not the M3, of course) power levels without looking or even driving like a tuner. The power delivery is linear and the blower is remarkably quiet. Well, that’s something Farah couldn’t have noticed at first because, somehow, he didn’t manage to shut the driver’s door properly just after getting underway.