jump to navigation

More on the mighty Alpina D3 Bi-Turbo March 18, 2009

Posted by Richard Aucock in What I learned today.
Tags: , , , ,
add a comment

Matthew Kidd, sales chief for Alpina GB, dropped me a line after reading my post on the new Alpina D3 Bi-Turbo. It’s even more of a machine than I first thought!

more-on-the-mighty-alpina-d3-bi-turboAs he says, ‘this is no simple chip-tune’. Engine software, for example, is completely bespoke to Alpina – written from scratch by the tech guys, and downloaded into the car on the regular BMW production line.

It even has its own engine wiring loom.

All this is why the 123d’s 2.0-litre twin-turbo enjoys such a power boost. But, here’s something: the bigger Bi-Turbo actually weighs less than the 123d! What’s more, at 1480kgs, it’s also 25kg lighter than the 325d.

Where it matters: up front.

It also has those distinctive big Alpina wheels, but they hide far more besides. The suspension comprises:

· Stabilisers from M Cars

· Secondary springs from the 335d

· Unique camber, caster and rolling radios

· Unique primary springs

· Bespoke settings for each variant – saloon, Touring and Coupe D3

Less than 100 saloons will be sold a year. The Touring and Coupe will be even rarer – ‘just a handful’.

Matthew’s invited me up to Sytner HQ in Nottingham, to test drive it for MSN Cars and Car Dealer Magazine (Alpina’s 14-strong UK retailer network will certainly be interested!).

When I can get up there, look out for more on how it fares on the road!

The Alpina that’s greener/faster/rarer than a 325d… March 16, 2009

Posted by Richard Aucock in What I learned today.
Tags: , , , ,
add a comment

BMW usually covers all bases, but a hole in its range was highlighted today. OK, it’s a small hole, but nevertheless…

What’s the 3 Series diesel buyer to do, who finds a 320d too slow, but a 325d too, well, you know, ‘not quite a 330d’?

Well, you’d think, the 1 Series comes in twin-turbo four-cylinder 123d guise. With 214bhp, it’s got bags of go. It’s obvious, then. Chuck this into the 3 Series, revive a classic nametag from the past, and bingo. Yet another niche filled.

rarer-than-a-325dNot so fast. Earlier today, BMW told me there are no plans for a 323d. Pity. The engine is a gem, and the lighter 2.0-litre engine would help create a wonderfully balanced high-performance diesel.

Help, however, is at hand! See, Alpina GB clearly shares my thinking. And has just started importing the Alpina D3 Bi-Turbo. Yes, it’s a 3 Series saloon, with a 123d engine transplant, and the usual hardcore Alpina makeover.

It looks great. But if, like BMW, you think ‘hey – why not just buy the peachier six-pot 325d’, here’s some stats:

Alpina D3 Bi-Turbo/BMW 325d M Sport

Price: £29,950/£30,825

Power: 214bhp/197bhp

0-62mph: 6.9secs/7.4secs

MPG: 52.3mpg/49.6mpg

CO2: 143g/km/153g/km

Compelling, aye? Furthermore, with the Alpina, you get a stackload of ‘in the know’ kudos to boot. Those stripes, those badges, those wheels, that ALPINA sticker on the front splitter…

But is it any good? Are pace and economy fair substitute for the loss of six-cylinder smoothness?

A test drive request has duly been sent. Watch this space.