A Low, Wide & Boosted BMW E46

If there’s one thing Daniel Karankevich has in almost overwhelming abundance, it’s a passion for building cars – specifically those wearing BMW badges.

Dan’s BMW addiction began at age 16, when he drove a friend’s ’94 E36 320i. To this day he remembers its smooth engine and the sense of control behind the wheel, attributes lacking in the Mazda 626 he was passed down from his grandfather as a first car.

Ten years on from that first taste of BMW, Dan now works as an automation engineer, collects die-cast cars, and runs a community of like-minded car enthusiasts called URXDS. For his daily commute in Estonia he drives an OEM+ E39 525i, but it’s the other BMW in Dan’s garage that we’re looking at today.


Dan’s first E46 was a 318i model that he lowered on coilovers and made some small interior modifications to. But after the car was involved in a crash and damaged beyond repair, he had no choice but to go looking for another. What Dan found on a local classified ad website was a 1999 BMW 328Ci Coupe.


From the outset, Dan wanted to build his E46 up with a stance vision. A set of generic coilovers were fitted first, but poor handling at the desired ride height (read: low) required a few modifications to be made, including fitter some much stiffer springs. The welder was also busted out to make some necessary alterations to the chassis.


It was all in the name of fitment, which in Dan’s case revolves around a set of Work Meister S1 three-piece wheels – 18×10-inch up front and 18×10.5-inch out back.


There’s a practical gap between the widened arches and wheel lips so the static car is actually usable.


Elsewhere outside, the front bumper is an M item that’s had its foglight openings deleted, and the entire body has been resprayed in Grauschwarz, a Porsche GT3 RS color. A few days before I met up with Dan to shoot his car the hood badge was stolen, but I think it just adds to the punk image of this E46.


That large intercooler up front gives away the fact that forced induction is in the mix, but otherwise it’s a rather stealth setup with the turbo almost sitting under the 328Ci’s factory-fitted M52TUB28 engine. Combined with an upgraded fuel system and a custom exhaust, the turbo 2.8L setup is reputedly good for 450hp.


The interior is full of custom touches, from the billet shifter, to a hilarious number of air fresheners, to stickers, to the one-off horn button on a QSP sports wheel. Interestingly though, all the details still complement the Alcantara trim.


Shooting next to a modern art gallery, Dan’s E46 attracted a lot of positive comment – and rightly so. It’s hard to classify the build as a sleeper, but I don’t think anyone would be expecting it to pack the punch that it does. Maybe stance and performance can go hand in hand after all.

Vladimir Ljadov
Instagram: wheelsbywovka



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Stickers, in 2020....

Vladimir Ljadov

Stickers are timeless, c'mon! :D


I happen to have the same model e46, do you know wether the owner bought a turbo kit, or if he worked out the conversion himself? I've been debating on turboing my 328 with myself for so long now, but I'm just so hesitant with buying a turbo kit, because I don't really trust them ..

Cheers on the great article



I have the same car too, for me I don't want a turbo but I guess it depends what driving experience you are after. I can tell you that if you go stainless tubular exhaust manifold 200 CPI cats and exhaust, 330 inlet manifold ( need throttlebody adaptor plate ) and put the car on a diet it will be plenty fast.

Vladimir Ljadov

it's a custom setup. I'm sure if you're serious about the turbo, you can contact the owner and he'll help you with some knowledge.


I used to drive a lowered car for a couple of years, but it barely could be considered as a stanced item. It had no crazy camber. The statically lowered suspension remained pretty usable height. And it was utterly sluggish, so I used to drive it slowly with an arm sticking out of the window. I'm wondering, how does a car with that stance and 450hp feel? Is it possible to deliver at least half of this power to the wheels, not just producing a cloud of smoke and keep it under control?


Hope his hand doesn't get impaled by that shift knob! Black Forest makes some nice ones that won't put a hole in your hand.(ha ha) like the paint color.


Yikes, that goofy stance is hideous.


only good thing on this car are the work meisters tbh


Is that safe to mount harness this way, that is, under angle ~45° instead of 0-20°?


Bummer, no pics of the engine.


Why don't you cover drivers cars anymore. Half the stories are crazy ass stance cars that would be undrivable. There's hardly ever any canyon carvers or cars that are just built to enjoy driving. If this had a proper suspension and tire setup it would be insanely fast., instead it will probably struggle to keep up with a stock m3 even though it has 120 more hp.


Broken suspension with too much camber and bad handling, a ratty (not "custom") interior with missing pieces, and an improperly installed and unsafe 4-point harness. This is what makes it onto Speedhunters today?


Cool car, but I'm most impressed you were able to work in the words practical and stealth when describing this thing.


"Maybe stance and performance can go hand in hand after all" But maybe not.


Can I do my e46 330d to drop frantspenching to make it lower


I'd drive it. It's cool for what it is, and if you look at it through the lens of a different genre you will always be disappointed. People should get that by now.


Boosted…3 series didn’t come with a turbo until 2006 335...so what turbo was installed? No mention of the exhaust manifold or wastegate?upgraded fuel system…what are the upgraded components? What injectors and fuel pump is used? Custom exhaust…what is the diameter and material used? 450hp…Stock Hp is 190 so Where did the extra 260hp come from? “Stolen” hood emblem…guess they stole the rear emblem and parking sensors too (made an effort to have the fog light surrounds deleted but not the holes for the parking sensors?)


I think we deserve to see a dyno printout of this 450hp! My 330Ci with an SMG gearbox pushed 260bhp from the factory and got more attention than even I wanted it too. So much that a BMW specialist bought the car from me because he knew how rare an E46 with an SMG gearbox is. He wouldn't go anywhere near this butchered '450bhp' whip. Power figures dont impress people anymore. Most people appreciate a good well rounded and thought out build. Not a car adopting the stance look with bits missing, some kind of welded chassis to improve handling? that crazy camber and random stickers inside the boot liner?


Got a few ideas for what I could do with one once I get round to buying one.