Like the idea of an Alpina? Then this is probably all that you hoped one would be.

The best traditions of Alpina live on within the B3 Biturbo. Its exceptional performance is as subtle as the rest of the car is to sit in and look at, while its ride and handling are all but ideally suited to the car’s mature and relaxed but capable dynamic intent.

Both supple and entertaining in equal measure. Lovely

It feels infused with the character of a tight-knit group of engineers working with passion and enthusiasm for a similarly minded bunch of enthusiasts to enjoy. It feels very European, too, and utterly at home on British roads.

Germans will tell you that many of their local roads are little better than ours. That’s true, and we suspect it is one of the reasons the B3 rides so well.

However, it’s on roads you might think of as typically Germanic – ones that are fast and smooth, or straight and faster still – that the B3 really finds space to excel.

Truth is, a standard 3 Series is already spectacular, but even so, it is easy to relate to the way this Alpina B3 does things. Rapid, rewarding but undemanding cars don’t come much better.

It is, if you like, a sporting car, not a sports car, and all the better for it.

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