New ALPINA D3 Bi-Turbo and B3 Bi-Turbo now available in UK
- The latest version of the world’s fastest production diesel saloon and estate, together with the 188 mph petrol-powered equivalent, is now available in the UK
- ALPINA D3 Bi-Turbo combines 173 mph and 0-62 in 4.6 seconds with finely-honed bespoke engineering, 53 mpg (combined cycle) and CO2 emissions of just 139 g/km (Saloon).
The latest generation of the world’s fastest production diesel saloon and estate is now available in the UK following their international reveal at the Frankfurt autoshow in September. With 350 hp and a remarkable 700 Nm of torque, the new ALPINA D3 Bi-Turbo Saloon and D3 Bi-Turbo Touring will catapult their occupants from zero to 62 mph in just 4.6 seconds and on to 170 mph, yet both offer luxury motoring at over 50 mpg with low CO2 emissions that will slash Benefit-in-Kind taxation for drivers of high-performance company cars.
“The combination of comfort, near-supercar performance, superb quality, low emissions and modest thirst for fuel makes these cars a remarkable achievement for ALPINA’s engineers,” comments ALPINA GB brand manager Gary Lott. “By focussing on just one type of customer – who wants a car that he or she can look forward to driving every day, whether they are commuting to meetings or sensing every nuance of a twisting Alpine pass – they have created a car that is widely regarded as the most broadly accomplished high-performance luxury car available anywhere today.”
Launched alongside the new D3 Bi-Turbo is the petrol equivalent, the 188 mph B3 Bi-Turbo. Both new ALPINAs include the complete range of upgrades recently released on BMW’s 3-Series range, on which the ALPINA cars are based. These include a more prominent BMW kidney grill, restyled front and rear lights both now using the latest LED (Light Emitting Diode) technology, broader side airvents, more luxurious interior materials and additional safety and comfort equipment.
Visually identical, the D3 Bi-Turbo and B3 Bi-Turbo also receive new ALPINA front and rear spoilers developed in BMW’s wind tunnel, with bespoke exhaust tailpipes integrated into the new rear valance. Both cars have been developed by ALPINA’s team of 70 engineers using design and validation processes identical to those implemented by BMW. ALPINA’s enhancements reach throughout the vehicle, including the engine, gearbox, cooling system, body structure, wheels, tyres, aerodynamics, suspension and interior.
Standard equipment includes an eight-speed automatic gearbox, ALPINA Adaptive M Sport Suspension, a four outlet exhaust with an ‘intelligent’ acoustic valve, leather upholstery, electrically adjustable heated sports seats, climate control and 19” ALPINA alloy wheels in the company’s famous Classic design. Inside, there are luxury carpet overmats and subtle ALPINA logos on the seat backs and door sills. The instruments are in ALPINA Blue and the steering wheel is covered in finest-quality, hand-stitched Lavalina leather. Every car is finished with a model plaque displayed on the centre console, showing the car’s unique build number.
In addition to being available with all BMW options including those from BMW Individual, the D3 Bi-Turbo and B3 Bi‑Turbo can receive almost limitless personalisation from ALPINA’s craftsmen. Alongside the famous ALPINA Blue and ALPINA Green signature paintwork, choices include hand-stitched full leather interiors of superb quality and a wide range of hand-finished woods for the dashboard and doors.
ALPINA has worked closely with BMW since 1961, with shared warranty coverage since 1964. Based in Buchloe just outside Munich, the company was registered as an automobile manufacturer to ISO standards in 1983. Around 200 cars a year sold in the UK with total production around 1,700.
D3 Bi-Turbo Saloon: from £47,950 D3 Bi-Turbo Touring: from £49,850
B3 Bi-Turbo Saloon: from £57,450 B3 Bi-Turbo Touring: from £58,950
Richard Gotch at Market Engineering
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Bespoke ALPINA Technology
ALPINA CEO Andreas Bovensiepen says the remarkable combination of comfort, performance and durability achieved with every vehicle is possible because although all BMW ALPINAs are available with an almost infinite variety of bespoke luxuries, his company manufactures only one mechanical specification for each model.
“As well as enhancing the performance of all major vehicle systems, our engineers are able to focus on ensuring that they work perfectly together, without the compromises needed for wide model and option variations,” he explains. “For ride comfort, for example, there is one combination of seat cushion, tyres, wheels, dampers, bushes and springs, so they can be designed to work as a well-coordinated team. We build only 1,700 cars a year, so we can do things that would not be possible in volume production.”
Powertrain – D3 Bi-Turbo
The ALPINA D3 Bi-Turbo’s lightweight powertrain is based on BMW’s aluminium three litre straight six, running ALPINA’s own engine control unit with bespoke software. Offering a combined cycle fuel economy of 53 mpg and CO2 emissions of just 139 g/km, it is exceptionally clean and efficient for such a high-performance and responsive unit.
ALPINA has specified two small, variable geometry turbochargers (rather than one larger Twinpower unit) because their lower inertia allows them to respond very quickly. These are fed from larger intake ducts with optimised radii, allowing the engine to breathe more freely by reducing induction air pressure losses by 30 percent compared with the standard system. The result of complex fluid dynamics modelling, the bespoke induction system supports increased engine output as well as improving throttle response. A 20 percent larger intercooler with flow-optimised aluminium ducting increases the density of the fuel / air mixture to further enhance engine performance.
Although optimised for fast road driving rather than track use, BMW ALPINA cars are engineered to provide consistent performance and high reliability when driven hard for long periods. Central to this ability is the enhanced powertrain cooling system. An additional radiator in the engine cooling circuit is mounted behind the bespoke front spoiler, which also directs air to the new, high-flow oil cooler. Control is provided by a dedicated thermal systems control unit that uses information from the vehicle’s databus to optimise powertrain temperatures and to reduce parasitic loading on the engine by momentarily switching off the fan when maximum acceleration is required.
ALPINA has paid equal attention to the hot side of the engine. The bespoke, free-flow exhaust manifold is manufactured from high carbon steel with a cobalt addition to provide very high temperature resistance. The light-weight, quad-outlet exhaust system, developed with specialist supplier Akrapovic, is optimised for gas flow as well as for acoustic characteristics, which are enhanced by opening a computer-controlled valve when the Drive Performance Control is in Sport mode and when the system identifies spirited driving.
The eight speed transmission has been developed in partnership with ZF to provide a very fast shift speed while ensuring durability with the D3 Bi-Turbo’s immense torque. Around 20 percent of the system is bespoke, developed with ZF specifically for ALPINA. Linked to recalibrated software, the system provides smooth, comfortable gear changes with no noticeable interruption to power delivery. In Manual mode, the driver can take complete control of the transmission using the unique ALPINA Switch-Tronic buttons on the back of the steering wheel for intuitive fingertip control. The driveshafts and differential are also reinforced and a limited slip differential is available as an option.
Ride and Handling
The combination of incredible performance and low emissions is matched by a remarkable ride quality and superb dynamics from the chassis. Bespoke ALPINA springs with a 40 percent higher rate work with bespoke roll-control bars, bushings and bump stops. The four-setting variable damper control has been recalibrated to provide softer compression and stiffer rebound. The system works with the revised springs and bushes to provide superb body control, particularly in the sports settings, while allowing excellent bump absorption. Front camber and toe-in are optimised and a front body strengthening brace, designed specifically for the D3 Bi-Turbo, is fitted to further enhance steering feel, turn-in and dynamic consistency.
Wheels are ALPINA’s legendary ‘Classic’ style, in a new 19” design carrying non-run-flat Michelin Pilot Super Sport tyres developed in partnership with the tyre company specifically for the D3 Bi-Turbo. Enhanced tread stability and a new flank reinforcement technology reduces temperature spikes during very hard driving, ensuring consistently excellent grip in the dry complemented by a bi-compound running surface to ensure equally outstanding performance in the wet. Softer side walls contribute to the car’s superb ride quality and refinement.
Brembo callipers in ALPINA Blue announce a bespoke braking system with 370 mm discs and four piston callipers at the front and 345 mm discs with twin piston callipers at the rear. The pad specification has been selected to provide excellent temperature stability to ensure consistently good stopping performance and pedal feel during hard use without compromising feel or refinement when being driven more gently.
To help ensure that every aspect of the suspension works perfectly together, ALPINA has recalibrated the control software for the power steering, the Dynamic Stability Control and the Dynamic Traction Control. “This is a great example of the attention to detail that is applied to optimise the entire car as a unified driving system,” says Bovensiepen. “Optimising the DSC for our wheel and tyre combination means that we can deliver more performance and greater safety, with unobtrusive intervention helping to make the vehicle feel wonderfully neutral at its dynamic limits.”
Styling and Aerodynamics
The appearance of an ALPINA has always been a distinctive blend of function and style. The new front spoiler provides the necessary airflow to the front brakes and through the additional heat exchangers and also works with the bespoke rear spoiler to reduce high-speed lift to almost zero.
ALPINA and Diesel: a winning combination
In 1998, at the request of BMW, Andreas Bovensiepen with other leading drivers pioneered the now highly successful use of diesel in endurance motorsport when they won the Nurburgring 24hr at the wheel of an ALPINA BMW 320d. Soon after, ALPINA launched the D10 Bi-Turbo, then the world’s fastest production diesel saloon. “BMW was the first major vehicle manufacturer to recognise the potential of diesel in motorsport and ALPINA was the first constructor to win with this fuel, which has a significantly higher energy density than petrol,” he recalls. “It was an exciting time, doing something genuinely different and winning. The ALPINA D3 Bi-Turbo follows in this tradition.”
ALPINA D3 Bi_TURBO
Weight (kg unladen) 1,660 1,730
Length (mm) 4,632 4,632
Width (mm) 1,811 1,811
Engine 6 in-line 6 in-line
Displacement (cm3) 2993 2993
Bore (mm) 84.0 84.0
Stroke (mm) 90.0 90.0
Maximum output (kW / hp) 257 / 350 from 4000 rpm
Max. torque (Nm) 700 from 1500 rpm to 3000 rpm
Front wheels and tyres 8 x 19“ 245/35 ZR19
Rear wheels and tyres 9 x 19“ 265/35 ZR19
Emissions classification Euro 6
Acceleration 0-62 mph (sec) 4.6 4.6
Top speed (mph) 171 170
Fuel consumption Urban (mpg) 47.1 46.3
Extra-urban (mpg) 57.7 56.5
Combined (mpg) 53.3 52.3
CO2 emissions (g/km) 139 142