To many people outside of the automotive world, the name ‘Alpina’ may not be necessarily recognisable - in fact, the company itself takes great pride in the fact that it only creates cars for ‘a small circle of connoisseurs’. Finding its roots in touring car racing, Alpina is a company that uses extensive racing knowledge and experience to build upon the stunning work of BMW to create astonishing vehicles that offer increased performance and subtle styling tweaks. Alpina’s latest creation, the D3 Biturbo Touring, is no exception to this legacy.
Stated as ‘the only car you’ll ever need’ by Autocar, the D3 Biturbo Touring is an Alpina estate that features more torque than a Ferrari F12, can manage to achieve 52mpg and wears the title ‘World’s Fastest Production Diesel’.
Starting with possibly the most impressive statistic, the D3 Biturbo Touring uses a reworked BMW twin-turbocharged straight-six to create 516lb ft of torque; to put that into context, Ferrari’s F12 creates 509lb ft and Lamborghini’s Aventador 507lb ft. The astronomical torque allows the D3 Biturbo Touring to fly from 0-62mph in just 4.6 seconds and comfortably on to a top speed of 170mph.
All of the thrust created by the 345bhp/516lb ft unit that sits up front is forced through the back wheels by an 8-speed sport automatic transmission that has been adapted to the exact requirements of Alpina. Utilising new electronic and mechanical engineering that is twinned with a special torque converter, the D3’s transmission is more than capable to deal with that sensational wave of torque; feeding it equally to both of the rear wheels and giving optimum levels throughout the rev range. Unlike Alpina’s gone by, the new D3 Biturbo Touring features BMW style gearshift paddles behind the wheel rather than the traditional buttons that Alpina enthusiasts have become accustom to.
Whilst you may find yourself feeling slightly underwhelmed by a 4.6second 0-62mph time and 345bhp, remind yourself that the D3 Biturbo isn’t a sports car that weighs very little, has space for two and struggles with attaining 30mpg – these statistics have been realised by a car that weighs 1730kg, can quite easily carry a boot full of Billy bookcases and accommodate 5 people in complete comfort whilst still managing over 45mpg. It goes without saying that Alpina have accomplished quite a feat with the D3 Biturbo Touring.
In way of styling, Alpina aim to give you as many ways as possible to create a car that is completely yours; offering a massive range of colours and materials from the BMW, BMW individual and Alpina collections. When choosing the specification of any Alpina, personalisation is the order of the day, after all; this is a car designed to be exclusive and to feel incredibly special.
There are also various features available in the way of technology and equipment. Coming with a multitude of equipment as standard, the D3 can be specified with things such as upgraded infotainment and a panoramic roof. One feature that many performance enthusiasts will find appealing is a VMAX system in lieu of one of the heating vents; this small display screen can be used for various things in the way of performance monitoring, for example: timing 0-62mph runs, tracking GForces and viewing turbo information.
On the exterior, the D3 Biturbo Touring is pleasantly understated but still manages to present a look that promises the performance that the car is capable of. Alpina enthusiasts will note that the usual Alpina design queues can be found across the car in the form of the beautiful 20” thin spoke wheels, Alpina branded splitter upfront and optional Alpina pinstripes down the flanks. Whilst the rear of the car remains very similar to the BMW 3-Series Touring on which it is based, you will almost instantly note the new quad exhaust from Akrapovic that, even though this is a diesel vehicle, manages to generate a very satisfying exhaust note that is suitably subdued.