Older BMWs don’t tend to leave you wanting in the engine department. After all, for a long time, all sorts of relatively ordinary models were fitted with wonderful naturally-aspirated straight-sixes mixing responsiveness with healthy power outputs.
So, if I owned an E46 323i with its 2.5-litre ‘M52’ inline-six, ditching the engine for something else wouldn’t occur to me. Something pretty special would need to go in its place, like, for instance, the Volvo T5 engine that ended up under the bonnet of the very yellow 323i seen on this page.
Spotted for sale on Facebook Marketplace (where else), the E46 now has the 2.3-litre ‘B5234T’ from an 850 under the bonnet. It can’t have been a particularly straightforward swap, given that this engine was designed to be mounted transversely rather than longitudinally as it now sits in the BMW.
Specific technical details aren’t exactly forthcoming in the advert, but we are at least told it was rebuilt with forged internals and a ported cylinder head around three years ago. The unit is said to be good for 500bhp.
We’re guessing a good chunk of you will be onboard with the powertrain side of things, but what’s gone on aesthetically might prove rather more divisive. On the outside, there’s a widebody kit, a Vorsteiner carbon fibre bonnet, some less than pretty-looking wheels and a coat of Nissan Lightning Yellow paint.
The yellow theme continues inside, where you’ll also find a Ground Zero audio system that includes an obscene speaker count. Each front door includes seven, so get carried away with the volume control, and you might not even hear that T5. And may also come away with hearing damage.
It’s priced strongly, shall we say, at £7500. Finding a buyer willing to part with such a sum for a car with aesthetic changes best described as ‘niche’ in appeal is easier said than done. So, it should come as no surprise the T5’d 3er has been up for sale for three weeks already without finding a buyer.
What do you think of it?