World’s fastest production diesel convertible, Now available in UK for Spring 2016 delivery
Elegant new BMW ALPINA D4 Bi-Turbo Convertible combines 0-62 in 4.7 seconds with outstanding comfort, 47.9 mpg and CO2 emissions of just 156 g/km, slashing benefit in kind taxation
Nottingham (UK): The world’s fastest production diesel open top car, the new BMW ALPINA D4 Bi-Turbo Convertible, is now available in the UK for spring delivery. Powered by ALPINA’s incredible twin-turbo, straight-six diesel, the latest model pairs 350 hp and 700 Nm with combined cycle fuel economy of 47.9 mpg and CO2emissions of only 156 g/km. The result is a class-leading top speed of 171 mph combined with a 0-62 mph time of just 4.7 seconds and, for business car drivers, modest benefit in kind taxation that is unrivalled amongst cars offering equivalent performance, style and luxury.
“The headline figures make the D4 Bi-Turbo Convertible a remarkable engineering accomplishment, with a unique blend of performance, economy and taxation benefits for a four-seat open top vehicle,” says ALPINA GB brand manager Gary Lott. “ALPINA is synonymous with exquisite convertible cars, and the marriage of its high-output diesel powertrain to BMW’s folding hard top bodyshell provides the ultimate evolution of this theme for a marketplace where economy and emissions are now as important as performance and refinement.”
The D4 Bi-Turbo Convertible is based on BMW’s latest generation 4-Series, and is the result of a two year development programme: ALPINA analysed and refined every aspect of the car to increase performance, improve comfort, efficiency and aesthetics. Using design and validation processes identical to those implemented by BMW, ALPINA’s team of 70 development engineers worked with specialist suppliers to enhance the engine, gearbox, cooling system, body structure, wheels, tyres, aerodynamics, suspension and interior.
“The driving experience is of vital importance to our customers, and the sensation is magnified to visceral levels in any ALPINA open top car,” says Lott. “Acoustics are optimised through the use of a computer-controlled valve in the free-flowing exhaust. Making the most of a twin-turbo, aluminium straight-six soundtrack is a priority for ALPINA engineers, be it for petrol or diesel derivatives.”Bespoke Luxury – allow seven monthsStandard equipment includes an eight-speed automatic gearbox, Adaptive M Sport Suspension, leather upholstery, electrically adjustable heated sports seats, climate control and Bi-Xenon headlights. 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.
Outside, the new D4 Bi-Turbo Convertible receives subtle aerodynamic enhancements developed in BMW’s wind tunnel, a four outlet exhaust with an ‘intelligent’ acoustic valve, and 19” ALPINA alloy wheels in the company’s famous Classic design. Every car is finished with a model plaque displayed on the centre console, showing the car’s unique build number.
With the single figure launch batch of factory-specified D4 Bi-Turbo Convertibles already sold, the first customer orders are now being taken for delivery in-time for summer. The waiting list is currently around five months, with an additional two months required for hand-crafted luxury finishes.
Almost limitless personalisation can be created by ALPINA’s craftsmen, alongside a huge range of BMW options to provide a truly bespoke vehicle. Complementing 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. The Convertible can also be specified with an exclusive wind deflector complete with ALPINA imprint, and an Air Collar for cosy roof-down motoring all-year.
“ALPINA is the connoisseur’s choice; a responsible way to indulge an interest in driving a beautifully-engineered high-performance car,” concludes Lott. “The combination of strong demand and very limited supply means that buyers must think ahead and order soon if they would like their new ALPINA D4 Bi-Turbo Convertible built to their specification and delivered in time to enjoy this coming summer.”
ALPINA has worked closely with BMW since 1961, with shared warranty coverage since 1964. The company was registered as an automobile manufacturer to ISO standards in 1983. The new ALPINA D4 Bi-Turbo Convertible is available in the UK from £54,950 with orders now being taken for spring delivery.
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Richard Gotch at Market Engineering
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Bespoke ALPINA TechnologyALPINA 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 1,500 cars a year, so we can do things that would not be possible in volume production.”PowertrainThe BMW ALPINA D4 Bi-Turbo Convertible’s lightweight powertrain is based on BMW’s aluminium three litre straight six running ALPINA’s own engine control unit with bespoke software. Exceptionally clean, it already complies with the tough Euro 6 emissions standards.
ALPINA has specified two small, variable geometry turbochargers (rather than one larger 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 D4 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 HandlingThe 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, particular 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 D4 Bi-Turbo range, 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 and D4 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 AerodynamicsThe appearance of a BMW 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 combinationIn 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 and D4 Bi-Turbo follow in this tradition.”
TECHNICAL DATA Convertible
Weight (kg unladen) 1,815
Length (mm) 4,640
Cylinder 6 in line
Displacement (cm3) 2993
Bore (mm) 84.0
Stroke (mm) 90.0
Maximum output (kW / hp) 257 / 350 at 4000 rpm
Max. torque (Nm) 700 from 1500 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) 4.7
Top speed (mph) 171
Fuel consumption Urban (mpg) 42.2
Extra-urban (mpg) 51.4
Combined (mpg) 47.9
CO2 emissions (g/km) 156
Efficiency category B