You knew BMW tuner Alpina would dial in a 3 Series sedan if you saw the treatment it gave to the 3 Series wagon. (Sorry, “Touring.”) We’re still waiting for specifics on what the next BMW M3 be able to do, but we have enough information for a little bench racing.
Alpina’s latest iteration of its B3 sport sedan was launched at the Tokyo Motor Show this week in Japan, where the cars are imported by an outfit called Nicole Automobiles. Alpina tells us that company’s been bringing its vehicles into the country since 1981.
Like everything else the skunkworks shop does, the B3 gets power enhancements, chassis tweaks, a body kit, interior decorations, and of course Alpina’s signature many-spoked wheels. I call them “centispokes” but they’re actually officially referred to as Alpina Classics; some of the older ones were called Alpina Softlines but the company’s rolling stock has always more or less looked the same.
The new B3 runs BMW’s straight-six 3.0-liter engine juiced to a claimed 462 horsepower and about 516 lb-ft of torque. Alpina posits the car can go from 0 to 62 mph in 3.8 seconds with a top speed a hair over 188 mph. It has an eight-speed automatic and all-wheel drive. Take a look at the spec sheet if you want to zoom in on anything in particular.
But apparently it’s still unlikely this B3 will be sold in the United States, so those of us in America will have to make do with a BMW M340i xDrive Sedan as the next best thing right now.
The M340i xDrive also has a 3.0-liter six, of course, claiming 382 HP and 369 lb-ft of torque. BMW says the car can still skurt to 60 mph in 4.1 seconds and on to a top speed of 155. And faster, I’m sure, if you could remove BMW’s electronic limiters.
The full download on the next M3 is still under wraps, we think we’ve seen its butt, but all we really know is that it will share the S58 engine that’s in the X3 M and X4 M, doling out about 473 HP or 503 HP in Competition trim.
Since that car will assuredly be for sale in the U.S. soon enough, you don’t have to spend too long crying in your coffee if you can’t have the Alpina. Maybe just order the wheels and have them shipped for your M340i xDrive or M3.
Then again, the total-package Alpina does have a special swagger that other aftermarket-accessorized cars can’t quite keep up with.