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Alpina XD3 detailed before Geneva debut – a high-performance diesel BMW X3

Jordan Katsianis
26 Feb 2018

Disappointed the BMW X3 can’t be had with a high-performance diesel? The Alpina XD3 can now scratch that itch


Those after a high-performance premium mid-sized SUV now have a new diesel-powered option thanks to the reveal of the new Alpina XD3. A product of BMW tuning company Alpina, the XD3 is based on the latest X3 and features a 328bhp twin-turbo straight-six turbo diesel engine.

Unlike BMW’s in-house X3 flagship, the M40i, the Alpina XD3 is offered exclusively in diesel form, and although it loses some 40-odd bhp to its petrol compatriot, torque is a much more generous 516lb ft. As a result, the XD3 is only a tenth of a second slower to 62mph than the M40i, at 4.9 seconds, despite the XD3’s higher kerb weight.

> Click here for our review of the BMW X3 M40i

All that torque is kept in check by all-wheel drive and delivered through the omnipresent eight-speed ZF automatic gearbox. Likewise, adaptive dampers and a lower, stiffer basic set-up aim to sharpen the already adequate handling without compromising too heavily on overall comfort.

The usual set of Alpina-specific visual upgrades are also in hand, with optional 22-inch wheels and the typical love-it-or-hate-it decals. The overall styling has been applied with a deft hand though, with only subtle changes to the bumpers and a set of quad exhaust outlets.

There is a caveat with the XD3 however, as although BMW doesn’t offer a high-performance diesel option in the X3, the new X4 does, and we expect that M40d engine to be available in the X3 sooner rather than later. Not only that, but for the ultimate XD3 you’ll have to move to the continent, as left-hand-drive versions come with a quad-turbo 378bhp diesel. Like the other applications of this powertrain such as the BMW 5-series, the quad-turbo engine is unable to be packaged in right-hand drive and therefore not available in the UK.

Alpina has yet to release UK prices, but we expect a fair premium to be applied on top of the £51k BMW charges for the M40i. As a result, expect the XD3 to be a rare sight on British roads.


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