We all love our petrol-powered machines, but there’s no denying the appeal of a powerful, practical diesel for everyday use. Giving BMW’s most powerful black pump 3-series an extra dose of desirability, Alpina has launched its new D3 S, turning power, handling and luxury up over standard.
Based on the new M340d, the model features a 3-litre turbocharged in-line six, assisted by BMW’s 48V mild-hybrid system. There’s 350bhp and a whopping 538lb ft of torque to bring total output up 15bhp and 22lb ft over factory. Although 0-62mph remains at 4.6sec (4.8sec for the Estate), top speed rises from 155mph to 169mph.
Subscribe to evo magazine
To make it one of the fastest diesels on the market, Alpina has included an uprated cooling system to keep everything under control at high loads: new intercoolers, a transmission oil cooler, an electromechanical coolant pump and more, are all to be found. The eight-speed ZF transmission has also been reinforced to handle the immense torque, helping send all 538lb ft to all four wheels reliably.
Being Alpina’s very first model to feature mild-hybrid assist, the system is included for both increased efficiency and performance. A 10bhp electric motor helps fill gaps the engine leaves, improving response from a standstill, acceleration at lower speeds, and allowing for seamless start-stop operation which is ideal for daily driving.
As you’d expect from an Alpina, it receives a handful of standard equipment missing from an ordinary car. BMW’s latest infotainment and driver assistance systems come at no additional cost, as does a rear electronically controlled LSD. Uprated suspension from the B3 is also fitted for better handling.
In typical Alpina fashion, aesthetic modifications are subtle. Air intakes are optimised for airflow and various other components are tweaked for ‘lift reduction’, aiming to increase performance whilst adding some visual flare. Most obvious are the new wheels options, either a cast 19-inch item or the familiar 20-spoke, 20-inch forged wheel, available in either black or grey. Four-pot caliper, 395mm disc front brakes from the 600bhp B5 are standard, with lightweight drilled composite brakes available at a cost.
Alpina-exclusive blue and green metallic paint finishes are on offer. However, buyers can still choose from BMW’s vast array of Individual shades should they desire. And while custom interior specifications can also be had at a cost, a production number plaque, Alpina-branded door sills, seat emblems and even a retrimmed steering wheel all come as standard.
Prices start from €70,500 (approx. £61,000) in Germany, with UK pricing yet to be confirmed. Order books are open now and first deliveries will commence in November 2020.