Just over a month after it set our hearts ablaze by unveiling the 186mph B3 Touring, Alpina has done it again with the saloon version. And the good news doesn’t stop there, because although the saloon might not have the dog-able boot of the estate version, it gets a top speed boost of 2mph – every little helps.
That doesn’t come from any mechanical changes, although you’ll hear no complaints about that from us. The saloon gets the same 3.0-litre twin-turbo straight-six as the touring, but with slightly less weight to carry around it also manages to shave a tenth off the 0-62mph time, which now takes just 3.8 seconds.
In the BMW X3M and – most likely – in the next M3, that engine can make up to 503bhp, but Alpina reckons 455bhp is about right. Plus, it also generates a rather large 516lb ft of torque from 3,000rpm, which is then distributed between all four wheels.
Thankfully you can get both sets of Alpina’s classic wheels on the saloon, too. Drooool. And there’s a new stainless-steel exhaust system for improved acoustics. Alpina still wants the B3 to be more understated than an M3, though. It describes the B3’s looks as “distinctive and powerful, yet unobtrusive.” Lovely.
There’s no manual gearbox on offer (although M Division boss Markus Flasch has already confirmed that the next M3 will get one) and Alpina has tuned BMW’s eight-speed ZF auto to make the B3 into a proper mile crusher.
On the inside you get some new badges, lovely soft leather and new screen graphics, but again it’s all very understated. You could drive a B3 safe in the knowledge that only yourself and a select few other road users would know how special it is. Very special indeed is the answer…