The third generation of BMW M3 attracted many hearts of BMW enthusiasts. BMW E46 M3 was available with some exclusive colours: laguna Seca Blue and Phoenix Yellow – ready for the new millennium. Widened fenders, side vents, a small lip spoiler, quad exhausts and a high revving inline-six-cylinder engine completed this German driving machine. Solido is showering us with new releases lately and the 1:18 scale BMW E46 M3 in Laguna Seca Blue and Phoenix Yellow is here to satisfy our taste buds. Which colour do you prefer?
Packaged in a standard Solido box, models are finished in die-cast metal with opening doors and movable rubber front wheels. Looking at it from the back, it almost seems like the rear trunk may open up but I can assure you it does not. Backlights simulate LED brake lights and turn signals which I think were available towards the mid to end of the production life cycle. The trunk-mounted lip spoiler is present and the quad exhaust tips have some nice depth to them too. The back window has a window defogger and the trunk lock mechanism is there as well. Overall I think the finish is good for this budget model.
On the front, it’s standard Solido finish – all grilles and vent openings are solid plastic pieces and there are no perforated parts. This is a very common finish in models in the budget price range. BMW M3 license plate is there to remind you it is no ordinary BMW. I do like the clear turning signals with an orange bulb visible inside – very nice.
Looking at both blue and yellow examples, I wish the blue had a light interior and the yellow one dark interior. Maybe buying both colours and doing an interior swap would be a nice little project. Speaking of the interior, it is replicated with a budget in mind and there are no textured or carpeted surfaces inside. There are some silver accents on the dashboard, around the shifter and the doors to brighten things up which I can definitely appreciate.
From the side, the general look is good. Rims look reasonable with BMW badges in the center – the //M emblem is present too. Bolts are painted black, brake calipers and discs are painted gray. The side turning signals are separate pieces which are nice, although they are a little off level. I get the feeling that someone had to put them on very quickly and forgot to level them to a horizontal line.
To sum everything up, I think overall it is a lovely budget die-cast model finished in iconic E46 M3 colours. If you want more detail and see the engine too, you will have to spend a lot more money to get the Kyosho or AUTOart example. If you will not display yours open and do not care for the engine detail, this one from Solido will certainly hit the spot.