A rare thing happened today at the Geneva auto show. We actually managed to be surprised by the debut of a new model that had not been first teased or previewed online by its manufacturer; a rare thing these days where manufacturers typically tease, preview or reveal new models online prior to its real life debut.
Kudos to Alpina for bucking the trend and keeping a tight lid on the debut of the Alpina XD3 Bi-Turbo!
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On to the details:
The drivetrain of the XD3 Bi-Turbo utilises the excellent attributes of the BMW full aluminium 3 litre straight six cylinder engine with modern common-rail direct injection and two turbochargers with variable turbine geometry.
With the aim of further maximising the potential of this engine and using the freedom that small series production allows, ALPINA engineers have worked extensively on optimising the air intake flows. The new air intake ducts have substantially larger diameters and feature optimised radii which lead to a 30% reduction in loss of pressure. This effective means of ‘de-restricting‘ the air flow between the air intake and the air filter housing allows the engine to breathe more freely, resulting in improved performance and a more lively character. In combination with the realisation of appropriate turbo charging and injection pressures this leads to a maximum output of 350hp (257kW) at 4000rpm and 700Nm torque between 1500 and 3000rpm.
The performance and effectiveness of the entire cooling system has a direct influence on the stability and output of turbo charged engines - as a result, the cooling system in the new XD3 Bi-Turbo is of central importance. A large volume intercooler (+38%), with an optimised inlet and outlet design, feeds the engine with air. Two additional separate water coolers, which are situated in front of the wheelhouse and lie perfectly within the air flow from the front spoiler, ensure that all cooling mediums (via oil/water-heat exchangers) are kept at optimum temperatures, even during maximum thermodynamic loads. The operating parameters and components of the cooling system are managed by a cooling system control unit which features an intelligent operation of the electric cooling fan to directly influence performance under full loads.
An exhaust manifold made from high-strength material allows for higher exhaust gas temperatures (+50 ̊C) which result from the increased power output. From the middle silencer backwards the exhaust system is carried out in stainless steel and finishes with two double-ended tailpipes which carry discrete ALPINA and Akrapovič lettering. Sound engineering and the reduction of silencer volumes has resulted in a for diesel engines surprisingly throaty exhaust sound, especially at higher rpms. The character of the engine overall is unusually lively for a diesel engine, revving freely past 4500rpm.
Despite the engine‘s high specific power output of 117hp per litre, the XD3 Bi-Turbo achieves class-leading efficiency figures: 6.8l/100km (41.5mpg) and 180g/km CO2 (Combined, measured according to ECE norm).
Adapted and tested in co-operation with ZF, the advanced SWITCH-TRONIC 8-Speed Sport-Automatic transmission features specific hardware modifications demanded by the high torque, these include special mechatronic components and an adapted torque converter.
ALPINA engineers have spent many development and test hours working on the software to ensure that the transmission provides unparalleled levels of both comfort and performance. The blend of eight speeds and high levels of torque makes for super comfortable gear changes with no noticeable interruption to the delivery of power. In Automatic (D) Shift Mode the XD3 Bi-Turbo excels at cruising along at speeds in high gears at minimum rpm, this benefits both consumption and comfort. Using the Sport (S) Shift Mode the transmission becomes noticeably crisper and unmistakably immediate, gear changes become quicker and take place at higher shift points. The ALPINA SWITCH-TRONIC buttons, which are ergonomically and unobtrusively positioned on the back of the steering wheel, activate the Manual (M) Shift Mode which allows the driver to take complete control of the transmission. The system also allows for multi-simultaneous down-shifts in milliseconds, hereby the transmission will skip several gears depending on engine loads and rpm. In this manner the 8-Speed Sport-Automatic transmission with ALPINA SWITCH-TRONIC reveals itself as extremely multifaceted, providing the right shift characteristic for any and all situations. In combination with the Sport setting of the Drive Performance Control which further sharpens suspension and transmission, the new XD3 Bi-Turbo will sprint from 0 to 100km/h in only 4,9s and reach a segment leading top speed of 253km/h (157mph).
To fulfil the seemingly contradictory demands for comfort, everyday usability and dynamic handling, the XD3 Bi-Turbo is equipped with electronically-adjustable dampers. This system is tied into other system parameters controlling steering assistance, torque cushioning and the Dynamic Stability Control system. Featuring Drive Performance Control with Normal, Sport and Sport+ settings, the XD3 Bi-Turbo can transition effortlessly from cultivated luxury to thorough-bred sportiness. Light steering, comfortable suspension, a smooth transmission and BMW’s excellent xDrive all-wheel drive system make it an ideal everyday partner – whatever the conditions. At the same time, the XD3 Bi-Turbo will dive into and accelerate out of corners with such ferocity and traction, that powerful sporting saloons will find hard to beat.
The wheel and tyre set-up comprising 20” ALPINA CLASSIC wheels with MICHELIN Pilot Super Sport tyres measuring 255/40 ZR20 (101Y) EL, E / A / 71 dB front and 285/35 ZR20 (104Y) EL, E/A/ 73 dB rear is to a large extent responsible for the agile and sure-footed handling of the XD3 Bi-Turbo. The low-profile tyres, which forego run-flat technology for the sake of slow-speed damping, combine well with BMW’s Variable Sport Steering to achieve precise turn-in. This can be further enhanced by means of an optional 21” ALPINA CLASSIC wheel and tyre set-up.
In order to travel safely, dynamically and at speed even in the winter months, a 20” ALPINA CLASSIC winter wheel and tyre set-up is available in the dimensions 255/40 R20 101W front and 285/35 R20 104W rear.
DESIGN & EQUIPMENT
ALPINA typical design cues and aerodynamic refinements integrate well into the overall design of the XD3 Bi-Turbo and give it purposeful appearance. The athletic front with ALPINA spoiler has a dynamic design and integrates functional air intakes for an optimum air flow to the coolers.
The rear features ALPINA trademark slightly elliptical double-ended tailpipes which are integrated into an ALPINA rear valance which has been constructed to allow the use of an optional towbar.
The comprehensive standard equipment level features Leather Upholstery, supportive Sport Seats, Xenon Headlights, Cruise Control and Park Distance Control. The hand- finished ALPINA LAVALINA sport steering wheel with Blue/Green stitching connects driver and car while the ALPINA instrument panel with black-panel LCD technology displays vital information, including a digital speed read-out and gear indicator. ALPINA door sills, floor mats and emblems in the seatbacks provide discreet hints to the XD3 Bi-Turbo’s provenance. Optional interior trim finished in Alcantara with contrasting stitching makes for a decidedly more sporty ambiance.