Amid all the hoopla surrounding the arrival of the latest 5-series, another crucial piece of new Munich metal is in danger of missing out on its much-deserved slice of the action. But we weren't about to let that happen to the revised 330d, an evolution of one of the most significant cars of recent years.
We'd met the quick diesel breed before, of course - BMW's own 325tds had fired our imagination nearly a decade earlier. But three years ago the original 330d took the concept to an altogether different plane, with an astonishing blend of 140mph performance and 40mpg economy.
Now the baby Three has inherited the 730d's more advanced common-rail 3.0-litre six. Although the 330d doesn't quite get the Seven's full 369lb ft of torque, figures of 204bhp and 302lb ft are still damned impressive and represent useful hikes over the old car's 184bhp and 288lb ft tallies.
The factory performance numbers say top speed is up 8mph to 149mph and the sprint to 62mph drops by 0.6sec to 7.2sec (high sixes in Autocar money), but even they don't adequately describe the fireworks that a twitch of the right toe can ignite.