Amid the brain-addling procession of interviews that a Geneva motor show obliges the typical motoring hack to carry out these days, it’s nice to sit back and answer a few questions for a change.
That’s what I found myself doing in conversation with Andreas Bovensiepen, CEO of BMW’s best-known satellite tuner Alpina and who, it turns out, is a man very concerned about the future for diesel-engined performance cars in the UK.
BMW Alpina’s main Geneva unveiling is the new petrol-powered B5, but the forthcoming equivalent D5, expected at this autumn’s Frankfurt show, will likely be much more important to UK buyers. “We sell 80% of our diesel models in the UK,” Bovensiepen told me.
“So what do you think the British government will do about them? Will they be penalised in London and other big cities? If you were me, and you had to decide now whether you would develop another all-new Alpina D3, would you do it?”
I did my best to reassure Andreas that, in spite of all the noise and uncertainty that surrounds diesel in the UK right now, the appetite for cars as multi-faceted as the D3 and D5 isn’t likely to wane any time soon.
But you can see his predicament. Alpina isn’t a company that can afford for so much of its model range to flop on the back of kneejerk regulatory changes.