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By Ben Pulman
10 November 2008 09:30
The Alpina D3 Bi-Turbo Coupe is a 3-series BMW really should make. To create it Alpina, the Buchloe-based tuner, tweaker and BMW bedfellow takes a regular 3-series coupe. It then drops in the twin-turbo diesel engine from a 123d, makes a few changes and the result is an engine with more bhp per litre than any other BMW road car.But Alpina is well known as a maker of fast and understated M Division-rivalling BMWs. So what happens when the company turns its attentions to diesel? Will there be an agricultural rattle to spoil everything? Read on to find out about the Alpina D3 Bi-Turbo Coupe.
It’s somewhat harsh to call Alpina a mere BMW tuner. In fact, the main assembly of every Alpina takes place on BMW’s regular production lines, before the cars are transferred to Alpina HQ for hand finishing. And there’s so much BMW in each Alpina that every car still features the blue and white propeller. If BMW is prepared to let Alpina products wear its badge, then these cars must be pretty special...Back to the D3 Bi-Turbo. It’s Alpina’s second diesel, after the 2006 D3. But while that car had a single turbo, the Bi-Turbo has, you guessed it, two turbos. The engine is essentially the unit from the 123d, but a new cat-back exhaust, ECU and gearbox settings liberate 211bhp, up from 204bhp. But there’s also 332lb ft (increased from the already M3-matching 295), available from 2000-2500rpm.
Click 'Next' below to read more of our Alpina BMW D3 Bi-Turbo first drive
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BMW Alpina D3 Bi-Turbo Coupe (2008) CAR review
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RE: BMW Alpina D3 Bi-Turbo Coupe (2008) CAR review
You can always order the Alpina without the striping (and almost everybody does that). I cannot understand why the "normal" 4pot-biturbo engine can only be ordered with the 123d coupé! To much competition for the 325d?
14 November 2008 14:13
I test drove this car just after an AWD B3 biturbo and this was probably an error. The B3 is a real Alpina with traditional Alpina flair.
The D3 seems to be aimed to complying with EEC emission regulations and smoothing the cash flow.
In comparison with the B3, the suspension setup seemed very comfortable but a bit wallowy and definitely less composed. The car I drove was a bit noisy at the rear : suspension and axle noises.
The engine seemed puny after the mighty B3. Not especially torquey and emitting a nice sewing machine sound... But, let's be honest, the car is rather quick by ordinary standards. One thing that should have been mentioned by Car, is that the SwitchTronic is a standard 123 d auto, rather than the tweaked auto that Alpina mounts in more elaborate models. These autoboxes are much faster compared with the ordinary ones.
Al in all this D3 is pleasant to drive but not much more. To me it is not a proper Alpina, even if it is definitely better than a regular 320 d.
11 November 2008 08:34
6.9secs for 0-60mph and 50mpg are very yummy numbers. Having said that Alpina has got less than 5% extra bhp and 10% more torque out of BMW's 123d engine and the bodywork amounts to little more than cheap and cheerful go-faster stripes. Alpina is becoming so low-key with its tuning of BMW's they're almost invisible!
10 November 2008 17:35
All the greatest current cars from BMW (Alpina or not) seems to have regular tires. When will we have runflats that perform as well as ordinary rubber? On another note: Is there room for a spare wheel in a car designed for runflats? If not, how do you handle a puncture in an Alpina D3?
10 November 2008 14:00
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