About the Performance Package (ZHP)

The performance package was an option given to E46 sedans from 2003 to 2005, coupes and convertibles from 2004-2006.[20] It included various aesthetic changes over the regular 3 series, as well as functional and mechanical enhancements. It had M badges on each of its Style 135 wheels, with additional M badging on the multi-function steering wheel and atop the 6-speed short throw weighted shifter. In addition to the standard color options, the ZHP was available in the “Motorsport-only” color Imola Red. It received the “M-Tech II” bodykit standard, 18-inch staggered Style 135 wheels, high gloss anthracite window trim, and the coupe received clear turn signals (headlights, side-markers, and tail-lights) instead of the amber turn signals found on the standard 330Ci.[20] The interior had also been modified with half cloth-half alcantara sports seats (optional upgrade to leather), an alcantara-wrapped sports steering wheel (switched to perforated leather in mid-2005), a shorter M-badged shift knob, anthracite colored cloth headliner, and aluminum “cubed” faux-carbon fiber interior trim (available in silver or black). The instrument gauge cluster was also modified with red needles and polished metal trim rings.[21]330Ci ZHP

In the performance department, the ZHP was equipped with the more aggressive BMW Performance camshafts and a DME tune to increase power from 225 hp (168 kW) to 235 hp (175 kW).[20] The engine redline was also raised from 6,500 rpm to 6,800 rpm to further take advantage of the new power band and higher power output achieved by the new camshafts at higher RPMs.[21] As a result of the higher redline, the nut that fastens the oil pump’s sprocket came with threadlocker pre-applied from the factory to keep the nut from falling off.[22] The car also received a shorter final drive ratio which allows for faster acceleration; 3.07 vs. 2.93 for manuals and 3.64 vs. 3.38 for the automatic.[21] Car and Driver magazine track-tested the car, which returned a 0-60 mph time of 5.6 seconds and passed through the 1/4 mile in 14.3 seconds.[21] In 2003 the ZHP was the only non-M 3-series to feature a Getrag 6-speed manual transmission (the Steptronic automatic transmission was not available the first model year (2003), but it was offered from 2004-2006.

Suspension was modified over the standard suspension with firmer springs and dampers, larger anti-roll bars, stronger front control arm ball joints, a lower ride height, and slightly more negative camber.[21] The Style 135 wheels also came equipped with the much stickier compound, Michelin Pilot Sport tires, in a staggered configuration with 225/40-18 tires in the front and 255/35-18 tires in the back.[21]

In November 2010, ZHP Mafia was launched. ZHP Mafia is the only online resource dedicated to bringing owners and enthusiasts together — so that they can discuss the BMW 330 Performance Package.

In December 2010, project ZHP Registry was launched in an effort to keep track of E46 3-series ZHP vehicles.