Alpina puts its team to work on subtle styling with lots of speed for the 3 Series diesel.
BMW’s latest M340d is a wonderfully potent blend of performance and long-distance driving economy, but Alpina thought it could be even better.
The renowned BMW engineering specialist has now launched both a sedan and station wagon upgrade of the M340d. These new high-performance models carry the D3 S badge and are true to Alpina’s heritage of combining subtle styling with outrageous power, delivering what could be considered M3-levels of performance, with the benefit of diesel range.
Alpina’s D3 S exterior design alterations are very slight, with the most noticeable being those 20-inch multispoke alloy wheels, which reduce unsprung weight by 14 kg.
The anchor theme of these new D3 S cars concerns Alpina’s modification of the BMW 3-litre turbodiesel engine. Alpina’s technicians have managed to boost power to 261 kW and torque surges up by 30 Nm, to a new peak of 730 Nm.
Transmission software upgrades ensure that ZF’s eight-speed automatic gearbox is not undone by the increase in engine power. An electronically controlled limited-slip differential ensures sufficient traction and although these D3 S variants retain all-wheel drive, Alpina has reprogrammed the torque-slit sensitivity to be rear-axle biased.
Performance is predictably swift, with the Alpina D3 S sedan claimed to run 0-100 kph in only 4.6 seconds, whilst the station wagon is only two tenths slower, at 4.8 seconds. Top speed is slated at 273 kph for the sedan and 270 kph for the load-friendly station wagon.
Mindful of the speeds that its D3 S models can attain, Alpina has enacted suspension and brake system upgrades, to guarantee a balanced driving experience. Eibach coils are added to each wheel corner, to resist brake dive and provide bodyroll mitigation through corners.
Brakes are upsized to 395 mm at the front wheels, actuated by four-piston callipers, which make them 15% larger and better at heat dissipation than the M340d’s standard 345 mm front rotors.
The Alpina D3 S sedan prices at and an estimated R1 390 000 (converted from Euros), whilst the station wagon version is set to retail for R1 430 000.