While we wait for BMW M to get the new BMW M3 ready, Alpina has been busy with a creation of their own – the BMW Alpina B3 Bi-Turbo, which will be debuting at this year’s Geneva show. Based on the F30 335i, the Alpina B3 Bi-Turbo showcased at Geneva will also be available with BMW xDrive’s all wheel drive system, something that the M3 is unlikely to have.
The 335i’s 3.0 litre motor makes do with 306 horsepower and 400Nm of torque, but Alpina has tuned it up to 410 horsepower when fed with RON 98 fuel. Those are figures very similiar to the previous E90 M3. Thanks to the turbochargers, a wide spread of 550Nm is available between 2,200rpm and 5,200rpm, with the twist force peaking at 600Nm at the 3,000rpm point. 0 to 100km/h tales just 4.2 seconds in the rear wheel drive version, and the xDrive model is even faster at 4.0 seconds thanks to the additional traction provided by the all wheel drive system. Alpina claims a fuel consumption of just 7.6 litres per 100km for the rear wheel drive car and 7.9 litres per 100km with the xDrive car.
How did Alpina get over 400 horses from the N55B30 motor? Note that unlike the N54 which had two turbos, the N55 makes do with a single twin-scroll turbocharger. Alpina takes the N55 and removes the single turbo, instead replacing it with once again two turbochargers, hence the Bi-Turbo in the model name. There’s also Alpina specific NGK spark plugs and a forged steel high-strength crankshaft.
Always-on power delivery and excellent throttle response are aided by an electronically controlled bypass valve system. Specially constructed and de-throttled, i.e. flow and cross-section optimised, air intake ducts guide the air with minimal losses from the air intake via the air filter housing to the turbochargers. On the fuel side, a high-performance high-pressure fuel pump ensures the right throughput. Optimal utilisation of the output is provided by a high-capacity intercooler with flow-optimised collector boxes made from aluminium. Coolant cooler, additional separate coolant and engine oil coolers as well as a high-performance 850w cooling fan ensure the thermal stability of the cooling system in all conditions.
The transmission in the car is called the SWITCH-TRONIC, based on ZF’s 8-speed 8HP70 automatic transmission. Three shift modes are available: Automatic (D), Sport (S) and Manual (M). D mode naturally focuses on driving comfort, while S mode shortens gear shift time and throttle response. When combined with the Sport or Sport+ setting of the Drive Performance Control, which modifies the drive and chassis setup, gearshifts are even quicker and also more acoustic thanks to single-cylinder fade-out. This function interrupts the injection of fuel into a given cylinder for a fraction of a second, creating the required reduction in torque that the automatic transmission requires for super quick and dynamic up-shifts.
Alpina has also made sure the B3 Bi-Turbo sounds good. The car uses a stainless steel exhaust system which was developed in collaboration with Akrapovic, featuring two elliptical double tailpipes elegantly integrated into the rear valence. The Akrapovic system has an intelligent exhaust valve. In Comfort mode the exhaust valve remains closed up to 2500 rpm, beyond which it opens depending on engine load and rpm. In Sport mode, however, the valve is permanently open to provide a more thrilling sound.
Brakes are 370mm discs at the front and 345mm discs at the rear. Aluminium callipers (4-piston on front axle, 2-piston on rear axle) painted in blue and with ALPINA lettering, in conjunction with high-performance pads, ensure fading stability and optimal pedal feedback.
There’s no official importer for Alpina here in Malaysia, and true blue Alpinas are pretty rare here. We’ve found a coupe-bodied version of this car’s predecessor at oto.my though, but it’s got grey paint and not the classic Alpina blue. Enjoy the gallery.