Currently reading: Facelifted Alpina D3 Touring spotted testing
Fast 3 Series estate gets subtle styling tweaks and chassis mods but will stick with its 345bhp six-cylinder diesel motor

Alpina is refining its D3 Bi-turbo to bring it in line with the recently facelifted BMW 3 Series, according to these spy shots of the estate version of the car testing in Germany.

The Bavarian specialist manufacturer has reprofiled its front and rear bumper treatments to take into account the 3 Series’ revised styling - although the fact that the regular car has no sheet metal changes means that Alpina has only had to make slight modifications.

Alpina sources say the firm is satisfied with the existing six-cylinder motor’s blend of power and torque - 345bhp at 4000rpm and 516lb ft at just 1500rpm - and it will therefore remain unchanged in the face-lift. So will the upgraded ZF eight-speed automatic gearbox, fitted with bespoke software developed between the transmission manufacturer and Alpina’s engineers.

However, BMW reprofiled both the passive and active suspension set-ups on the latest 3 Series, so Alpina’s technicians have changed the electronic dampers that come as standard on D3 models accordingly.

The D3 Bi-turbo should make its public debut at the Frankfurt motor show this autumn. Alpina expects the switchover of production between the old and new versions of this car - and the arrival of a new 7 Series-based B7 - to cause a slight dip in production from the firm’s record figure of more than 1700 cars in 2014.

Alpina’s CEO Andreas Bovensiepen recently confirmed that the firm has no immediate plans to reintroduce a four-cylinder diesel model to its line-up. The original D3 and D3 Bi-turbo both featured 2.0-litre four-cylinder units, but Bovensiepen said: “These were hard models for us to make profit on, and BMW now has high-performance four-cylinder diesel engines in its own line-up anyway, so it would very costly for us to get to the niche of having more powerful versions.”

Get the latest car news, reviews and galleries from Autocar direct to your inbox every week. Enter your email address below:

Add a comment…