Alpina B3 saloon breaks cover
Alpina has revealed its new B3 in saloon form — following on from the recent introduction of the estate ‘Touring’ model.
Based on the BMW 3 Series, it’s mechanically identical to its estate stablemate. This means it’s powered by the same 3.0-litre straight-six turbocharged petrol engine, with power sent to all four wheels via an eight-speed automatic gearbox.
Though it does lose a little practicality in its saloon form, a reduction in weight means a slight boost in performance — with 0-60mph now covered in 3.6 seconds, rather than 3.7 seconds, and top speed up to 188mph from 186mph. It’s also likely to be a little more agile in the corners, too.
Exterior enhancements to the car include revised bumpers, the addition of a quad-exit exhaust system, and the ‘Alpina’ branding on the front grille of the car. A set of 19-inch alloy wheels is fitted as standard, which can be optionally upgraded to 20-inch units.
Inside the car, very little changes from the regular 3 Series — though a retrimmed steering wheel now features an Alpina logo and the firm’s own button shifters in place of paddles for manual control of the gear changes.
Founded in 1965, Alpina works closely with BMW when developing its vehicles. Though a large part of vehicle production takes part in the latter’s facilities, the former then takes the half-finished cars to add its own touches.
The firm is more than just a tuner, though, with the German Ministry of Transport recognising Alpina as a separate vehicle manufacturer. It sells fewer than 100 cars annually in the UK.
Order books for the Alpina B3 saloon will open in the first quarter of 2020, with deliveries beginning in the middle of the year.