We first saw the Alpina XD3 at the beginning of this year, but due to a lengthy period of development to comply with new WLTP emissions testing and regulations, UK specifications have only now been released for the left-field performance SUV.
In the UK, the XD3 will be powered by a fettled version of BMW’s turbocharged 3-litre straight-six diesel engine. Peak power is rated at 328bhp, with 517lb ft of torque available between 1750 and 2500 rpm, this boost in output has been achieved by Alpina replacing BMW’s twin-scroll turbo with two variable geometry turbochargers. These are small gains on the standard BMW engine (321bhp, 501lb ft), but the modifications have been designed to maintain a progressive and linear power delivery.
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The eight-speed automatic gearbox has also been upgraded, with extra cooling and revised internals to negate the need to have a torque reduction during upshifts. This reduce shift times without adding extra stress to the drivetrain.
Alongside the mechanical upgrades, the XD3’s chassis has been thoroughly redesigned, with one degree of camber applied to the front wheels, aiding steering feel and turn-in, in conjunction with a revised power steering calibration bespoke to the XD3. The springs themselves have also been shortened and stiffened, lowering overall ride height.
Unlike BMW’s petrol powered in-house X3 flagship, the M40i, the Alpina XD3 drinks diesel, and although it loses some 40-odd bhp to its compatriot, torque is more generous. As a result, the XD3 is only a tenth of a second slower to 62mph than the M40i, at 4.9 seconds, despite the XD3’s higher kerb weight.
The usual set of Alpina-specific visual upgrades are also in hand, comprising optional forged 22-inch wheels and the typical love-it-or-hate-it decals. Bumper treatments and the quad exhausts are standard fit though, likewise some interior styling tweaks including Alpina’s unusual multi-coloured stitching, just to remind you that you’re in something a little more special than a normal BMW.
The XD3 is due to arrive with customers in April next year priced at £57,900. Although it’s a large amount of money for an SUV based on the mid-sized X3, it’s not hugely more expensive than the similarly powerful X4 M40d (£55k). Audi and Mercedes do offer performance versions of their own mid-sized SUVs, but both are petrol powered and start much closer to £50k, meanwhile Volvo’s top spec Volvo XC60 T8 R-Design will set you back a hefty £59k before options.