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D3 Saloon
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  Alpina D3 Saloon
 

  Article Image gallery (4) Specifications  
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Country of origin:Germany
Introduced in:2005
Introduced at:2005 Frankfurt Motor Show
Source:Company press release
Last updated:October 10, 2005
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Click here to download printer friendly versionIt has phenomenal pull," was the first impression that Andreas Bovensiepen had of the BMW 320d race-diesel that he raced along with Hans Stuck, Marc Duez and Christian Menzel. Together they took the overall win in none other than the 1998 24 Hours of Nürburgring, the track whose North Loop was and is referred to as the "Green Hell". This remains the biggest racing victory for a diesel-fired vehicle to date, with thanks going to an intelligent package made up of high torque, high fuel economy and finely-honed aerodynamics.

At the heart of the matter is the 2.0litre diesel, endowed with so much potential by the BMW engineers in Steyr that it achieves just over 100 horsepower per litre in the BMW Alpina D3. This would be a great result for a high-performance petrol engine, and it's a sensation coming from a diesel. Garrett, of Turbo-charger fame, are able to deliver a new charger that simultaneously achieves high levels of air mass through-put with outstanding responsiveness. Alpina engineers performed intensive development work on the injection system, burn pattern, inter-cooling and exhaust gas emissions (particle filter). The result: 200hp at 4,000rpm.

What makes this automobile special? First off - it works brilliantly in times of out-of-hand fuel prices. Torque: at 410Nm much like a V8 engine. Performance: 0-100kph in 7.4 seconds, with a top speed of 238kph, much like a six-cylinder. Fuel economy: at 6-7 litres per 100km, more like a small commuter car. A truly dynamic automobile that doesn't first create false hopes by shooting away from rest at low revs, only to peter out at higher revs. Instead, the 2.0litre loves to rev, in the hopes that its owner will co-operate fully and happily with both it and the buttery-smooth-shifting 6-speed ZF manual gearbox.

When served in this manner - thanks to the enervating drivetrain - an unsuspected level of driving pleasure reveals itself from the first kilometre on. Precise, direct steering allow driver and automobile to bond, rhythmically swinging from one corner to the next. Upon reaching 100kph on the autobahn, all that needs be done is to select sixth gear, and the driver surfs on a 410Nm wave of torque, constant from 2,000rpm to 3,300rpm. It feels relaxed, even easy, and one has the sense that it's really a muscle car. Far from it, as the distance-to-empty gauge smirkingly tells the story of 800 - 1,000km to go. Heavy mileage drivers know they'll have the upper hand against every sports car.

Alpina doesn't just stand for fun, but also for a clear conscience - which brings us to the topic of particulates. We assure you that you'll still be able to go shopping into the city with each and every new D3, as the D3 has a diesel particulate filter standard. That said, not even Germany's Energy Minister, Juergen Trittin, can say anything bad about this sporty car.

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  Article Image gallery (4) Specifications