In celebration of 40 years in Japan, Alpina has pulled the wraps off its 3 Series AWD model, which will be available here in sedan and Touring wagon forms. Pricing will start at the equivalent of $113,000-$119,350 for the sedan and wagon including local taxes (for reference, an M340i xDrive wagon starts at $92,473 in Japan).
As usual, the wizards of Buchloe, Bavaria serve as a performance foil to the mothership’s M division, offering up grander touring in comfort with an emphasis on effortless low-end torque over hair-on-fire horsepower. Alpina fits its own twin turbochargers to BMW’s iconic 3.0-liter straight six, along with custom intake and exhaust plumbing, engine control software, cooling upgrades, and more. The result is 456 hp and 516 lb-ft of torque. That’s up from 382 hp/369 lb-ft in the base M340i and 444 hp/406 lb-ft on the M3 Competition. Power is routed to all four wheels through a traditional eight-speed automatic and an electronically controlled helical-type limited-slip rear differential. Alpina pegs 0-62-mph acceleration in 3.8 seconds en route to a top speed of 188 mph.
Chassis modifications include unique Alpina Variable Damper Control and variable sport steering assist, plus Pirelli P Zero tires on a choice of 18- or 20-inch lightweight forged Alpina turbine-style wheels (sadly these do not include a hollow spoke leading to a concealed valve stem under the center cap as many Alpina wheels in the past have).
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Other exterior aero and styling enhancements on the new Alpina B3 include a front splitter, rear diffuser, stainless exhaust tips, and optional side stripes. Inside there’s buttery-soft Alpina-logo-embroidered leather upholstery and a fully digital instrument cluster with custom Alpina graphics. Production is scheduled to begin in spring 2020 with customer deliveries following in the autumn. Japan gets a wider range of Alpina cars, including the XD3 and XD4 diesel SUVs, diesel D3 and D4 sedan and coupe, D5 diesel and B5 S gasoline sedans as well as the B7 (the only Alpina offered in the U.S., for now). Sadly the B3 models are not expected to be offered in North America. Alpina’s global production is forecast at just 1,600 cars for the year, ensuring exclusivity.
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