The Alpina B3 brings the 3 Series Tourer body style and the X3 M’s (and new M3/M4) S58 twin-turbo straight six to the party.
The new 3 Series isn’t really that new anymore so now we’re starting to see the performance versions land. What we won’t see from BMW is an M3 Tourer. Now, I don’t know about you, but I love fast wagons – who doesn’t? – and it turns out Alpina is the company to fill the gap.
Shown at the recent Frankfurt Show, the new B3 has the green light for a release in Australia in 2020.
Look and Feel
Alpina has a serious 1990s West German vibe in its aesthetic. The wheels are the dead giveaway you’re in a tuner-wagen as well as the square-rigged body kit, over-sized badging and Alpina script in the front grille. It’s an acquired taste.
Apart from the badging, there’s almost no chrome to speak of, so that’s nice.
The cabin is clearly a straight BMW one with some Alpina touches. The wood, comfy seats and Alpina animations in the screens are about it. They couldn’t resist one of those naff plaques though, this time glued to the centre console and the badge looks as weird as ever on the steering wheel.
Here we go, folks. Alpina got its hands on the S58 twin-turbo modular six soon to be stuffing the engine bays of many M cars. The tuning house fits its own turbos to deliver 340kW between 5000 and 7000rpm and 700Nm from 3000 to 4750rpm.
Alpina says it will deliver 11L/100km on the Euro WLTP, which isn’t bad at all for that kind of grunt.
All-wheel drive is standard and the eight-speed ZF is along for the ride, as always.
Alpina is yet to fess up as to how fast it will go, but expect a 0-100km/h around four seconds and a theoretical top speed near 300km/h.
I may not have always been in love with Alpina looks but by Jove the company knows how to make a fast but relaxed car. It’s not really an M3 Tourer, it’s far more civilised than anything M would dish up (and nor should it).
The Alpina B3 has its own Comfort+ mode, which if you like a comfy ride should put this on top of your “really fast wagon” list. The springs are from Eibach, if you’re wondering.
Between the rear wheels is an electronic limited-slip diff and the 19 -inchor optional 20-inch wheels have a set of Alpina Pirelli P-Zero tyres. Those tyres get a bit more bite up front as Alpina’s own pivot point joints dial in a bit of negative camber.
The brakes are whoppers, with 395mm up front and 345mm at the rear. That’ll do.
How much and when?
The 2020 Alpina B3 will arrive in Australia in the second half of 2020. We’ll have detailed price and spec for you then.
Peter Anderson is the Editor and founder of the theredline.com.au. He’s been writing about cars for years and finds it difficult to talk about anything else.