The D5 S has been fine-tuned for Britain with sharper handling and a lighter set-up than European versions. In order to cater to the UK’s narrower, potted roads, the model has shed 100kg thanks to the use of a twin-turbo 3.0-litre straight-six as opposed to a triple-turbo version offered on the continent.
Alpina GB said it prioritised this more nimble set-up over the additional grunt offered with European cars. The lighter D5 S produces 322bhp and 516lb ft, which is 60bhp and 74lb ft down on Euro-spec cars.
But the UK D5 S get the brand’s Integral Active Steering as standard. This four-wheel steering system is said to boost low speed manoeuvrability and high-speed agility, with Alpina CEO Andreas Bovensiepen claiming it makes the D5 S “feel like a 3 Series” sized car.
It also uses UK-specific Alpina Dynamic Drive electro-mechanical anti-roll technology, which enables softer damping to absorb bumps but minimises body roll in turns. The car sits on the same 20in Alpina Classic wheels as its European cousins.
All four wheels are driven via an eight-speed ZF gearbox, with a quoted 0-62mph time of 4.9sec and top speed of 171mph. This makes the D5 S six-tenths quicker to reach 62mph than BMW’s quickest oil-burning 5 Series, the 530d xDrive, and 16mph quicker than that car’s limited terminal velocity. The D5 S is also claimed to offer 46.3mpg and emits 161g/km of CO2.
The car gets nappa leather-wrapped seats with 20-way adjustability and a 205w 12-speaker sound system. Externally, its design is identical to that of the B5 – its 600bhp petrol sibling (pictured).
Pricing has yet to be confirmed, but the D5 S is expected to start at about £62,000. This is just shy of £10,000 more than BMW’s sportiest diesel 530d, the xDrive M Sport – but the Alpina will be produced in substantially smaller numbers.