What is it?
The headline stat is 538lb ft at 1750rpm. There’s also 350bhp at 4000rpm, but it’s the torque that moulds the brawny character of the new D3 S, endowing it with the sort of low- to-mid-range punch that proves performance-based diesels really do have some life left in them.
The latest hot diesel-powered Alpina is based on the already potent BMW M340d xDrive. Like the four wheel-drive donor car, it comes in saloon and Touring bodystyles – the latter of which we drove briefly on the Bilster Berg club circuit in Germany.
As is Alpina’s way, the styling changes are subtle. The D3 S gets a front bumper extension, the firm’s signature turbine wheels and a reworked rear bumper valance that houses four round chromed tailpipes. It’s not much, but it’s enough to visually differentiate it from the more aggressively styled M340d. Even at a quick glance, you know it’s an Alpina.
The same is true inside, with its reworked digital instruments, revised steering wheel, new-look trim, reupholstered front seats and a badge within the centre console that indicates this is one of just 2000 or so Alpinas assembled each year.
It’s under the bonnet, though, where the most significant changes lie. The D3 S runs an upgraded version of BMW’s turbocharged 3.0-litre inline six-cylinder diesel with a 48V starter-generator. Its 350bhp and 538lb ft outputs are 15bhp and 22lb ft more than the M340d’s, mostly through the adoption of a new exhaust system.