New Alpina B3 Touring 2023 evaluate
Whereas all of the fanfare round BMW’s M3 Touring is rightly deserved, the Alpina B3 is another quick property with a fair wider unfold of talents. There can be no contest between the 2 automobiles on a observe, however for almost all of the time the Alpina feels simply as fast, much more luxurious and has a rarity worth that even the M3 Touring can’t match. If that wasn’t sufficient motive to suggest it, the B3 begins from round £6,000 much less, too.
It’s been an enormous 12 months for BMW’s M Division. Munich’s motorsport arm celebrated its fiftieth birthday by releasing its first purpose-built M automotive because the authentic M1, which took the imposing type of the plug-in hybrid XM SUV.
A mannequin a lot nearer to M’s authentic core values was the brand new M3 Touring, the very first big-booted scorching 3 Sequence. It didn’t disappoint, offering all the joy of an M3 saloon however with the practicality of a 500-litre boot due to its wagon bodystyle.
Neither are automobiles for the shy or retiring, although, so in order for you a extra delicate method of going very, in a short time, there may be another: the Alpina B3 Touring. Latest updates have introduced it in step with the most recent 3 Sequence, together with new, bigger infotainment screens, however Alpina has made tweaks elsewhere, too.
Among the many delicate beauty modifications is a revised entrance bumper. It provides somewhat extra menace to the face, but it surely’s nonetheless very conservative in contrast with the M3. Our check automotive rides on elective 20-inch alloy wheels, though 19-inch rims
are fitted to the B3 Touring as normal.
Inside, the cabin feels similar to the three Sequence, solely extra particular. The leather-based on the steering wheel and the seats feels softer, for example. The digital driver’s show has acquired a light remodeling with a brand new pores and skin within the conventional Alpina blue color, too. It’s all capped off with the Alpina emblem on the steering wheel, to remind you that you just’re sitting in one thing fairly particular.
Despite the fact that being within the cockpit seems like an expertise in itself, it’s the way in which the B3 drives that’s really particular. However it’s one of many extra mundane qualities – trip consolation – that stands proud essentially the most.
One have a look at these 20-inch wheels, wrapped within the skinniest of tyres, and also you’d count on the trip to shake your fillings out, however that couldn’t be farther from actuality. It soaks up bumps – each giant undulations and sharp potholes – remarkably nicely. The M3 Touring, by comparability, may be very agency, limiting its enchantment as an on a regular basis driver.
Whereas the B3 might by no means be accused of being brief on energy, the S58 engine, which is shared with the M3 Touring Competitors, features distinctive exhaust gasoline therapy tech and a revised engine administration system in comparison with the earlier B3. The result’s 488bhp, 33bhp greater than earlier than, which edges it ever nearer to the M3 Competitors’s 503bhp output.
Nevertheless, the extra important determine is torque. The pre-update Alpina B3 had 700Nm of torque, 50Nm greater than the M3, however that has now climbed to 730Nm. That peak determine can be produced over a wider vary, arriving at 2,500rpm and persevering with to 4,500rpm.
The B3’s comfy and compliant suspension makes the exceptional velocity on supply much more shocking. Formally, it’ll crack 0-62mph in 3.7 seconds, simply 0.1 seconds shy of the M3 Touring. With a reasonably tasteful exhaust tone and a creamy six-cylinder rumble, there’s a contradiction with the energy of the punch and the drama that accompanies it, which not solely fits the automotive’s manner, however is addictive, too.
Happily, the B3 has greater than sufficient potential within the corners to maintain up. There’s a extra front-biased torque break up from entrance to rear in contrast with an M340i. Whereas it signifies that it isn’t fairly as playful because the BMW M automobiles, there’s nonetheless numerous potential to regulate the automotive’s steadiness, plus spectacular stability to go together with it. That is most evident at motorway speeds, the place the B3 feels beautifully planted. We are able to’t consider many higher candidates for overlaying an extended journey in supreme consolation.
|Mannequin:||Alpina B3 Touring|
|Engine:||3.0-litre six-cyl petrol turbo|
|Transmission:||Eight-speed automated, four-wheel drive|