Alpina does things a little differently to the horde of German tuning companies. Technically not a tuning company at all, Alpina is classified as a manufacturer whose cars are part-built on BMW’s own production line, before being finished at a specialist factory in Buchloe. They even roll out of the facility with an Alpina-specific VIN.
As such, its latest car, the diesel D3 S, has not been attacked by the carbon fibre cannon. It doesn’t have a mad power increase or a big drop in ride height. Instead, Alpina has taken the M340d as a starting point and tastefully tweaked almost every aspect to turn it into something rather special.
The most important set of changes relate to the M340d’s 3.0-litre, 48-volt mild hybrid inline-six. Power has been bumped by 15bhp and torque by 22lb ft, giving new totals of 350bhp and 538lb ft. This doesn’t change the 0-62mph time (4.6 seconds for the saloon), but the top speed has increased to 170mph.
Alpina could have left it there, but no - the D3 S gets new intercoolers, a gearbox oil cooler, an electromechanical coolant pump and reinforcements for the eight-speed ZF automatic transmission. Important changes, as German Alpina customers are known for their love of charging down derestricted bits of autobahn at speed.
It isn’t just a straight-line missile, however. The ‘Alpina Sport Suspension’ setup used for the D3 S includes new Eibach springs, plus fresh bump stops and anti-roll bars. The rear axle gets an electronically-controlled limited-slip differential as standard, and the all-wheel drive system has been altered to give a greater rear-bias than before.
If a lorry pulls out on you during a comfortable autobahn blast, you can call upon four-pot front brakes squeezing 395mm discs to scrub speed. They’re pinched from the Alpina B5 Bi-Turbo and teamed up with 345mm rotors and floating calipers at the rear.
On the outside, there’s the usual range of subtle Alpina alterations, including a new front splitter, a redesigned rear diffuser, and - of course - 20-inch multispoke wheels. If you’d prefer, however, there are 19-inch 5x4-spoke rims. But you want the multispokes, right?
Inside, there’s hand-stitched leather, a liberal festooning of Alpina badges, and bespoke, rebranded graphics for the digital instrument cluster. A neat finishing touch is a numbered Alpina plaque.
We don’t have UK pricing yet, but the German starting price has been confirmed as €70,500.