Wearing the BMW Motorsport division ""M"" badge and offering colors such as Imola Red and Laguna Seca Blue, there’s no question about the 2006 BMW M3's aspirations. Up until around 2001, the European counterparts provided much more power than other Motorsport machines. The 2006 BMW M3 engine's handling power, however, makes the famous racetrack color names quite fitting. This coupe can definitely hold up under the pressure of other M3s in the class.
Considering the M3's previous generation enjoys a reputation as an excellent performance coupe, the current-generation M3 is more powerful and sturdier, with a slinkier body, and a more responsive suspension than ever. It actually represents one of the best performance cars in the segment. As with other ultrahigh-performance vehicles, the power can be overwhelming for everyday driving, but get on the empty road and watch it soar while finding the limit of comfort. Suburban environments create no problem for the pleasantly firm handling and driving experience.
Body Styles: coupe, convertible
Engines: 3.2-liter six-cylinder
Transmissions: six-speed SMG, six-speed manual
Models: BMW M3
Even though the 3 Series has been redesigned for 2006, the M3 stays on the same platform showing no important changes.
The 2006 BMW M3 has both convertible and coupe body style choices that come with 18-inch wheels, without package additions. The convertible top comes in a choice of two colors of softtop, which retracts automatically and comes with heated glass. BMW makes an optional hardtop available, as well.
Many optional packages spruce up the exterior like the Competition package that adds forged-alloy 19-inch wheels, stiffer shocks, upgraded brake rotors and pads, and larger Michelin tires. Other extras include HID headlights, parking sensors, and a sunroof.
The 2006 BMW M3 interior features include automatic climate control, heated power mirrors, cloth and leather upholstery, sport seats with 10-way adjustability, a CD player, power windows, automatic headlights, keyless entry, a rear-view auto-dimming mirror, and rain-sensing wipers.
The convertible model adds full leather upholstery and power seat adjustments. Among the items in the optional package are aluminum and Alcantara interior trim. BMW also offers an alarm system, a premium sound system, a navigation system, and optional seat heaters.
Unlike some similar convertibles on the market that do not provide much legroom for passengers, the M3 has more than adequate room to seat four people comfortably. The interior dashboard features easy-to-use controls and a large screen display with navigation system installed.
Performance & Handling
2006 BMW M3 performance is nothing less than awesome with the suspension’s telepathic feel that seems synonymous with 3 Series vehicles. Another M3 expectation concerns a powerful engine and the 2006 BMW M3 matches and goes above the standard. The strong 3.2-liter six-cylinder that generates a whopping 333 horsepower and 262 lb-ft of torque has made this coupe one of the best in its class.
The standard transmission remains the manual six-speed, but the sequential manual gearbox six-speed comes as an option. The sequential manual gearbox, or SMG for short, technically acts as a manual transmission with an electronically-controlled clutch that lets the driver choose modes to suit the driving performance needed. It does not use a traditional clutch pedal, but paddles or shift levers that allow the driver to switch gears when the SMG runs in manual mode. It remains one of the most aggressive shift programs that alters the shift quickness and could possibly beat Formula One by Ferrari setup.
2006 BMW M3 acceleration speeds feel excellent, going from zero to 60 mph in about five seconds for the coupe and just a slight bit slower for convertible models. Overall, it marks one of fastest cars in production for performance driving.
Standard 2006 BMW M3 safety features include anti-lock brakes, front airbags, curtain airbags for the front (on coupe) a rollover system (on convertible), and optional rear airbags. The BMW M3 earns a rating of ""good"" in the crash tests conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
EPA Fuel Economy
BMW M3 Base Coupe: 14/22 mpg city/highway
BMW M3 Base Convertible: 14/21 mpg city/highway
- Racecar braking and handling
- Available SMG
- Fantastic engine
- Elegant interior
You Won't Like
- Exhaust note is uninspired
- Alarm system and power seats cost extra
An awesome engine combined with phenomenal handling.
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