Alpina took the somewhat surprising decision to roll out the new B3 initially in Touring form by unveiling the wagon last month at the Frankfurt Motor Show. The sedan is now ready for the spotlight in Tokyo where the Buchloe-based marque has introduced what many will consider as a model to bridge the gap between the M340i xDrive and the future M3 Sedan Competition.
Speaking of the M3, the new Alpina B3 uses the same turbocharged straight-six 3.0-liter unit you’ll find next year under the hood of Bavaria’s performance sedan. The engine made its debut a few months ago in the X3 M and X4 M pair of SUVs, and in this Alpina application, it has been tuned to deliver 462 horsepower and 516 pound-feet (700 Newton-meters) of torque.
That means it’s comfortably positioned above the 369-hp M340i without stepping on the M3 Competition’s toes as the latter will have over 500 hp. Some will probably see the new B3 as an alternative to the regular M3, which should have around 472 hp like the non-Competition M versions of the aforementioned SUVs.
Riding on Alpina’s beautiful signature 20-inch wheels, the B3 Sedan effortlessly hits 62 mph (100 km/h) from a standstill in 3.8 seconds and needs 13.4 seconds from 0 to 124 mph (200 km/h). Flat out, it will do a respectable 188 mph (303 km/h), thus making it one of the fastest sedans in the world. By the way, Alpina holds that speed title among four-door models with the 205-mph (330-km/h) B7.
Mechanical tweaks include fully adaptive dampers, Eibach springs, and bigger stabilizer bars, while an electronically controlled limited-slip differential at the rear axle provides the B3 Sedan with sharper handling. An upgraded set of brakes at both axles ensures superior stopping power necessary to match the extra performance compared to a regular 3 Series Sedan. In addition, Alpina has fiddled with the eight-speed ZF automatic transmission to enable quicker shift times and response, and the xDrive has also been revised to better cope with the power bump.
Alpina will start taking orders for the new B3 in Europe early next year, with sadly no plans to bring the performance sedan to the U.S.