The BMW E83 X3 was the first of its kind, the first BMW X3, a model that’s a best-seller for the Bavarian brand these days. It was launched during a totally different time for the automotive industry but even so, it managed to snag some pretty good reviews back then.
It was widely based on the E46 platform and shared a lot of its underpinnings, making a great driver’s car, despite its size and high center of gravity.
The steering was hydraulic, something you don’t see on new cars these days and it had plenty of feedback sent to the driver. At the same time, a lot of the engines were naturally aspirated, yet another feature you don’t see anymore.
Back then, the prospect of an M version wasn’t even on the books and yet. But some people are so crafty, they get tired of waiting and start building things on their own.
One perfect example is this X3, on sale today on Facebook Marketplace in Ocean Springs, MS, for $9,500. What makes this car special is the engine under the hood which looks like an S54 3.2-liter unit from a defunct E46 M3.
According to the seller, the S54 was serviced recently, has a rebuilt VANOS and a fresh set of rod bearings, which are the most common issues you could find on an S54. Furthermore, the all-wheel drive setup was somehow kept intact and the car is a manual, of course.
The list of changes and maintenance is rather long and we’ll mention the new clutch as well as the new transfer case and the lowered H&R springs.
All in all, this is one heck of an interesting project and I am terribly curious to see how an all-wheel drive S54 engine drives. If you’re just as curious as I am, you could buy this car, which is listed for $9,500 right now.
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