BMW E46 tuning: The perfect lowering solution with the right BILSTEIN sports suspension

Tuning & Motorsports
August 2, 2023 5 min read

By many BMW fans, the BMW E46 is considered the most beautiful 3 Series generation ever. It’s no wonder that the BMW 3 Series E46 still enjoys great popularity on the tuning scene. And with the right sports suspension from BILSTEIN, the BMW 3 Series drives (almost) like a new car.

In 1998, BMW’s chief designer at the time, Chris Bangle, and his team managed to develop the 3 Series design further without risking an all-too-clear break (the BMW E90 then took care of that in 2005). Today, the BMW E46 is considered the last classic-sporty three-series BMW.

BMW E46 embodies “the old BMW glory”

„Specifically, examples with the M tires in 18-inch format look classically beautiful and sporty,”auto, motor und sport once wrote. “They still embody the old BMW glory, which is especially true of the convertible, which was introduced in 2000 (…).” This is also one of the reasons why the E46 is still so popular today, over 25 years after its market launch.

BMW E46: Wide range of tuning options

Thus, the successor to the E36 still scores with a wide range of tuning and customization options. A particularly popular tuning upgrade for the BMW E46 is the sports suspension, which not only gives the vehicle a sportier look, but also optimizes handling. As a renowned manufacturer, BILSTEIN offers particularly high-quality sports suspensions for the BMW E46.

Sports suspensions and coilovers for a significant increase in driving dynamics

Sport suspensions, usually consisting of specially tuned shock absorbers and springs, ensure an ideal balance between comfort and sportiness. By lowering the vehicle, the center of gravity is lowered, resulting in improved handling and reduced body roll in curves. This ensures more precise steering response and a more direct driving feel.

BMW E46 330Ci | Car Throttle Review

Another popular tuning measure for the BMW E46 are coilover suspensions. Unlike conventional sports suspensions, coilovers allow individual adjustment of the vehicle height. This allows the lowering of the vehicle to be adjusted according to one’s own ideas. A coilover suspension consists of a threaded strut that allows the height of the vehicle to be adjusted continuously. This offers a high degree of flexibility and allows the driver to tailor the vehicle precisely to his or her needs.

BMW E46 lowering according to your own ideas

A BILSTEIN coilover suspension for the BMW E46 not only allows the vehicle’s appearance to be customized, but also its handling to be further optimized. The ability to adjust the vehicle height means, for example, that a particularly sporty alignment can be selected to maximize grip and agility. At the same time, however, a more comfortable setting can be selected to improve everyday comfort.


All in all, sports suspensions and coilovers from BILSTEIN offer an ideal combination of style, performance and comfort. They enable BMW fans to customize their vehicle and enjoy a driving experience that comes close to that of a new car. Whether on the road or on the racetrack, a BILSTEIN sports suspension or coilover suspension turns the BMW E46 into a true driving pleasure.

BILSTEIN suspensions for the BMW E46

We offer high-performance suspensions for E46 sedans, coupes, convertibles, touring cars and compacts. Thanks to our many years of expertise in developing first-class suspensions, our solutions always offer the perfect balance between ride comfort and sportiness.

BMW E46 sports suspensions:

BILSTEIN B12 Sportline:

The B12 Sportline sport suspension offers lowering of approx. 45 to 50 mm at the front and approx. 20 to 25 mm at the rear, depending on the E46 variant and engine version. It was developed specifically for drivers who want a sportier look and improved grip on the road without compromising the comfort of the vehicle.


Depending on the E46 variant and engine, the B12 Pro-Kit offers moderate lowering of approx. 30 mm at the front and approx. 20 to 25 mm at the rear. Just like the B12 Sportline, the B12 Pro-Kit is a good choice for drivers looking for improved handling and a sportier look without sacrificing everyday comfort.

BMW E46 coilover suspensions:


The B14 coilover suspension offers, depending on the E46 variant and engine, an individual adjustment of the vehicle height with a lowering of about 35 to 55 mm in front and about 25 to 40 mm in the rear. The variable height adjustment allows you to customize your vehicle according to your own preferences. The B14 coilover suspension offers improved grip and a sportier ride.


The B16 coilover suspension offers similar adjustment options as the B14, but is additionally adjustable in rebound and compression in parallel. In other words, with ten simple clicks you can set up your own personal damper setup for your BMW. In addition, the BILSTEIN B16 scores with a lowering range of approx. 35 to 55 mm at the front and approx. 20 to 40 mm at the rear, depending on the E46 variant and engine. It also features precise tuning that provides an optimum balance between comfort and sportiness.


For selected versions of the BMW E46, we even have our extremely powerful motorsport suspension EVO R available. The handmade coilover suspension is designed exclusively for motorsport use and scores with 100 adjustment options in rebound and compression (separately).

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