Make no mistake. This isn't a simple tuned up version of the usual BMW 335i. In fact, it's far from it. This is an M3-rivaling fast saloon that can carry four up north in comfort at great speeds. And Alpina has done a great job with its new B3 Bi-turbo.
Headline figures are 404bhp and 600Nm of torque from the 3.0-litre straight-six, which equals to a 100 more horses and 200Nm of more torque than the 335i This is achieved with the help of two smaller turbocharger, a larger intercooler, a better fuel pump and its own ECU. Why two turbochargers? Alpina says throttle response is much better and there is less turbo lag, which was what I felt. Coupled with the responsive ZF eight-speed automatic, the sprint to 100km/h is accomplished in a scant 4.2 seconds.
On the road, the B3 is a great overtaking tool with all that torque. There is no question this is much faster than a 335i, especially when it achieves full boost. On that note, the turbo hiss is more noticeable now when driving hard.
Alpinas have never been track cars and this is no different. The B3 is one smooth riding saloon considering that it is running on ultra low profile non-run flat tyres. Dampers are adjustable but in Comfort mode, body control is slightly lacking as the car can get upset by larger bumps. Sport mode improves things and with one of the finest steering for a saloon, hustling the car down your favourite road is a joy.
Overall this is a well-rounded fast sedan. Some of you readers may argue that this is one expensive 3 Series but you do have to pay for the exclusivity. I cannot think of anything I dislike about the car other than wishing for a louder exhaust note, considering it bears the Akrapovic name. But then again, Alpinas aren't supposed to be shouty...
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