Remember the mouth-wateringly appealing 2020 Alpina B3 Touring that debuted at the Frankfurt motor show last month? Alpina’s Australian division has just confirmed the insane wagon will be available in Australia.
To refresh your memory, the new Alpina B3 Touring features BMW M’s latest inline six engine. It’s a 3.0-litre twin-turbo unit, taken not from the current M3/M4, but from the yet-to-debut M3/M4. Yep, the new S58 engine which actually debuted in the X3 M and X4 M. This is a completely different unit to BMW’s own B58 3.0-litre single-turbo inline six.
Alpina has applied its own tune to the engine as well, fitting unique turbochargers, exhaust and cooling system. It produces 340kW (down from 375kW in the X3/X4 M), but torque is lifted from 600Nm to a whopping 700Nm. All of this is sent through a ZF-based eight-speed automatic transmission and into an all-wheel drive system, both of which have been set up by Alpina.
Straight-line speed is no doubt going to be insane, and certainly impressive enough to make it one of the very quickest station wagons on the new car market. However, Alpina vehicles are also about cruising refinement and grand touring capability. As such, the German company has devised a custom suspension package incorporating a three-stage variable damper control system, with an added ‘Comfort+’ setting not seen in any BMW vehicle. The springs are provided by renowned tuning specialist, Eibach.
There’s also a variable steering system with Comfort, Sport and Sport+ modes, with Alpina-specific front pivot joints with increased negative camber for the front end to improve steering response. Overall confidence on the road is enhanced by 395mm front disc brakes with four-piston calipers, and 345mm rear discs with floating single-piston calipers.
“The new Alpina B3 Touring presents a unique option to the Australian marketplace,” said Alpina Australia national sales manager, Phil Jeffery. “With all the practicality of a Touring Wagon, the security of all-wheel drive, incredible performance and bespoke styling options, the B3 Touring ticks a lot of desirable boxes,” he said.
Most of the exterior is enhanced by Alpina as well, with 19- or 20-inch alloy wheel options, a discreet aero kit with front and rear spoilers, while the interior is dressed to suit. Passengers can be treated to Lavalina leather which is a luxurious untreated hide, available in a range of finishes, and the driver grasps a bespoke steering wheel and peers at a revised instrument cluster.
Being a wagon means there is plenty of load space in the back. In fact, the boot capacity is rated at 500L, and it can be expanded to 1510L with the rear seats folded down. This is a similar amount of space offered in most mid-size premium SUVs, perhaps proving that you don’t always need an SUV for sheer practicality.
Alpina Australia says it expects the new B3 Touring to arrive locally during the second half of 2020. Prices and final Aussie specs and equipment will be announced closer to launch.