If you happen to own a non-M3 E46 3-Series, but want the look of the M3, Prior design has come up with an M3 styling kit that may suit you.
Starting up front, Prior Design eliminates the boring E46’s front bumper and replaces it with a unit that boasts a wide mouth and two side air intakes. The mouth’s outline is rather thin, keeping the drag to a minimum, and it is high enough off of the ground to avoid scraping.
For the sides of your awaiting 3-Series, Prior includes a set of side skirts that not only boast a very modern ankle line, but they also make your 3-Series look lower to the ground without any suspension modifications. Unfortunately, the side skirts just don’t quite fit in with the E46’s lines and stick out pretty badly.
Prior Design makes up for its sub-standard side skirts with a sweet backside addition to the 3-Series. This new rear bumper eliminates the econo-box-looking rear bumper that BMW slapped on the E46 3-Series and replaces it with a unit that features just the right amount of shape, a small diffuser, and cutouts for a dual exhaust setup. Our only issue here is what if the owner doesn’t have or want dual exhaust? Then he’s stuck with a goofy looking bumper.
Here’s the real test; does this kit make a regular 3-Series look like an M3? We have to be totally honest here; if you flew by at 80 mph with a nasty dual exhaust system rumbling behind you, we might mistake it for an M3. Sitting at a stop light, this kit is easily pegged as a poor knock off. The only component that somewhat resembles the M3 is the front bumper and even that is off track.
It’s a noble attempt by Prior and it would be okay as a regular body kit, sans the side skirts, but to call it an “M3 Styling” kit is a reach.
If you still want it, you can get the kit for €957 ($1,200 at current rates). We do suggest skipping the side skirts and finding another set that better suits the car, which will save you €199 ($250 at current rates).