"The software tells us pretty much the exact parameters-all that's left for us is the packaging and sound tuning. An RD Sport car has got to have emotion in its voice. It's got to grab its audience by the heart and balls."

The RS46 rides on a suspension 25mm lower than a stock vehicle. RD Sport's main objective was to lower the car's center of gravity for better handling."BMW did a great job with the M3 suspension," says Pavoncelli. "We saw no reason to mess with the rates. We support both the standard suspension and the optional Sachs-based EDC suspension."

The M3 featured on these pages was equipped with the standard suspension modified with RD Sport's lowering springs. For street use, it's an excellent solution, providing the necessary yet restrained levels of chassis movement. The ride quality is on a par with a stock M3 which is near perfect in its street or track usability. More importantly, it's fantastic for daily driving, an ideal mix of firmness and complicity.

The RS46 wears a power suit fabricated from carbon fiber and it replaces the front and rear bumper caps. The stuff appears to be as factory correct as it comes with excellent fit and finish. I guess looking great is simply a bonus.

RD Sport sets the chassis on its split-spoke RS45 wheels, a variation of their classic five-spoke design. Shod with Pirelli P-Zero tires (245/35-19 and 305/25-19), the car has a massive footprint and pretty much goes where it's pointed. Getting the tail-out photos required several shovels full of sand. Even then it wasn't easy. The RS46 wants to make the most of its 525 hp and 414 lb-ft of twist.

Perhaps the most intriguing element of the RS46 is its rock solid nature. No high-strung turbos, skittish suspensions or grabby brakes nonsense. There is a purity in the RS46 (and all RD Sport cars for that matter) that makes driving them a genuine pleasure. If you're into that sort of thing, give RD Sport a call.av

RD Sport RS46 M3
Longitudinal front engine, rear-wheel drive

Engine 4.6-liter V8, RD Sport ECU, RD Sport intake, RD Sport exhaust

Transmission Six-speed manual

Suspension RD Sport lowering springs, Bilstein shocks and struts

Brakes Brembo six piston calipers/15-in rotors (f), Brembo four-piston calipers/14.2-in rotors

Wheels and Tires RD Sport RS46 alloys, 9.5x19 (f), 11x19 (r) Pirelli P-Zero 265/40 (f), 305/25 (r)

Exterior RD Sport aerodynamic package

Performance* Peak Power: 525 hp @ 8200 rpm Peak Torque: 414 lb-ft @ 3800 rpm 0-62 mph: 4.1 sec. Top Speed: 190 mph

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