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Cleaner Alpina. Image by Alpina.

Cleaner Alpina
This Alpina will do more than 50mpg and is proper tax efficient. So, has the mentalist Beemer tuner finally gone soft?
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Alpina claims the D3 Bi-Turbo Saloon is 'the cleverest buy for all discerning UK drivers'. Now, that sounds more like the sort of thing you'd say to your partner after you've spent all your savings on a white BMW with massive rims, but on closer inspection, we reckon the statement's not actually that crazy.

See, Alpina's latest four-door is ostensibly a common-as-muck diesel 3 Series family saloon, except that it also happens to be very exclusive, very economical, very quick and very reasonably priced. Sounds like everyone's a winner if you ask us.

Less than 30k (29,950 to be precise, for a manual) will buy you into 52.3mpg economy and 143g/km - but from a car capable of 0-62mph in 6.9 seconds and 152mph. And if you're making the obvious assumption that this performance is coming from a fettled version of the 2.0-litre diesel 320d, stop it, because it's actually the 123d's four-cylinder unit doing the work.

Twin turbos and some Alpina fettling means the 1 Series's oil burner develops 211bhp and 332lb.ft of torque - more than enough for the bigger 3 Series's shell. They call that lateral thinking. As it happens, it's the highest rated bhp-per-litre engine Alpina has ever slotted into one of its road cars.

Of course, the D3 sits on some delicious '5x4 spoke' alloys and comes dressed with Alpina's familiar low-skirted and embossed body kit - and all for about the same price as a 325d M Sport. We know what we'd choose.

Mark Nichol - 17 Mar 2009

2009 Alpina D3 bi-turbo saloon. Image by Alpina.    

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