|Review:||The New BMW ALPINA D3 BITURBO Coupe|
A diesel success story – the next chapter
2.0 litre four-cylinder with two turbo-chargers
Horsepower: 214HP(211bhp, 157 kW)
Peak Torque: 450 Nm(332lbs-ft) @ 2,000-2,500rpm
Acceleration: 0-100km/h in 6.9 (6.9)* seconds
Top Speed: 244(242)km/h [152(152)mph]
EU-consumption, Combined 5.4 (5.6) l/100 km [52.3 (50.4) mpg], Extra-urban 4.6 (4.5)ltr [61.4 (62.7) mpg], Urban 6.7 (7.5)ltr [42.2 (37.7) mpg]
CO2 Value, Combined: 143 (148) g/km
(Values in brackets are for the SWITCH-TRONIC)
BMW ALPINA D3 – A “D“ with Three Meanings
The new Diesel Bi-Turbo continues the D3 success story that began in 2006 with the popular 200 HP (147 kW) ALPINA sport-diesel model, with over 850 units sold since its inception. It is a most passable answer to the low emissions and consumption discussions of the times, ands dovetails perfectly in a time of out-of-hand fuel prices.
The designation “D” unmistakably indicates that there is a diesel powerplant in the ALPINA family. “D” especially stands for dynamism. The new D3 Bi-Turbo, celebrating its world debut at the 2008 GENEVA Salon d’Automobile - at 214HP/211bhp (157 kW) @ 4,100rpm - is an exceptionally powerful and unusually high-revving diesel. Lastly, the “D” on the BMW ALPINA D3 Bi-Turbo stands for the German “Drehmoment” or torque, which the D3 has in spades. At 450Nm (332lbs-ft) of torque from 2,000 to 2,500rpm, the 2.0-litre, four-cylinder D3 is operating in V8.engine territory, or amongst large-displacement, six-cylinder diesel engines. With the purchase of a D3 Bi-Turbo, an ALPINA customer owns an engine/transmission combination that is a rare and fine delicacy when measured against its diesel competitors.
The elegant manner in which the power is delivered can be further augmented with the optional SWITCH-TRONIC automatic transmission. Developed by ZF and ALPINA in partnership, this sport-automatic is operated via three driving modes: D, S and M. Depending on the driver’s mood, he or she may let the transmission automatically, or shift manually using shift buttons on the back of the steering wheel. This affords the broadest spectrum of driving fascination.
The D3 Diesel Technology
The D3 Bi-Turbo’s basis is derived from the BMW 2.0-litre, four-cylinder, turbo-charged diesel engine with an block entirely of aluminium. The high-pressure, 2,000-bar Bosch-Common Rail injection ensures high efficiency via Piezo injectors. The D3 Bi-Turbo breathes in through differently-sized two exhaust-driven turbo-chargers. The smaller of the two chargers begins to operate right from tick-over and helps the four-cylinder yield an impressive 400Nm (295lbs-ft) of torque at 1,500rpm. Peak torque, 450Nm ( 332lbs-ft), is reached at a mere 2,000rpm. From about 3,000rpm onward, the second, larger turbo-charger is then fully on line and drives the engine to its peak performance of 214horsepower (211bhp, 157kW).
Thanks to extensive development work, optimal turbo-charger mapping, and the fuel injection system, the new D3 Bi-Turbo allows revs up to 5,200rpm, where most diesel aggregates today don’t rev past 4,500rpm. The base engine’s configuration, as developed by BMW engineers in Steyr, provides the potential to make the BMW ALPINA D3 Bi-Turbo’s immensely-high 107 horsepower per litre specific output possible.
The Efficient Transfer of Power
The standard six-speed manual gearbox allows the driver to not only test the 5,200rpm rev limit, a new feeling in a diesel, but also to enjoy the driving experience in a way previously unknown to a diesel. Coupled with carefully-calibrated gear spacing, the broad useable torque curve makes possible an unusually light-footed form of forward progress, especially on winding country lanes.
At the request of many customers, one can now enjoy the D3 Bi-Turbo with the optional SWITCH-TRONIC. This classic combination of high-torque power and an automatic transmission offers the driver a high degree of flexibility.
Using the normal “D” Drive mode, the SWITCH-TRONIC shifts into the next gear most comfortably, and almost unnoticed by the driver. “D” mode uses the engine’s impressive torque, allowing a driving style that’s quite economical. In “S” mode, the up-shifts are later in the rev range, and quicker. This provides driving dynamism that to date was only to be found in a strong petrol engine.
The D3 Bi-Turbo only really becomes the perfect “Sport Diesel” though, when the driver shifts manually using the shift buttons on the back of the steering wheel. Lightning-quick shifts are the order of the day – even the best drivers can’t shift for themselves any quicker. This reveals itself in impressive performance numbers for both transmissions The manual D3 Coupé reaches 100km/h [62mph] in 6.9 seconds (automatic 7.0 sec), with a top speed of 244 km/h (automatic 242 km/h) [152mph(150mph)].
Especially in light of the current CO2 discourse, the D3 Bi-Turbo Coupé’s combined EU fuel economy cycle figures of 5,4 (5,6) l/100 km [52.3 Imp. gal (50.4)] and resultant combined CO2 values of 143 (148) g/km reveal ALPINA’s efforts regarding highest fuel efficiency. In addition, all measures to reduce consumption and CO2 emissions used in the base BMW model were carried over into the D3, such as the automatic Start-Stop function on the manual transmission. High-mileage drivers and business users appreciate the resulting range: depending on driving style, ranges of up to 1,000km (600mi) are the norm.
ALPINA Suspension, Tyres & Wheels
The D3 Bi-Turbo Coupé uses suspension technology quite similar to the BMW ALPINA B3 Bi-Turbo, an automobile whose suspension has received rave reviews from the press. The BMW 3 Series Coupé’s high chassis rigidity and five-arm rear suspension provided ALPINA great potential for the highest levels of driving dynamics. The strut/spring calibration is fittingly sporty, matching the D3’s character. Thanks to the low kerb weight, extraordinarily agile handling was achieved, exhibiting itself in the form of good controllability right up to the D3‘s high handling limit.
The standard tyres and weight-optimised 18` ALPINA CLASSIC light-alloy wheels can be up-graded with an optional 19` wheel/tyre combination, available in either ALPINA CLASSIC or DYNAMIC wheel design. The interplay of 245/40ZR18 front tyres and 265/40ZR18 rear tyres, riding on 8” x 18” front and 9 x 18“ rear wheels, yields outstandingly exacting handling. The key is ALPINA’s choice not to use the heavy Run-Flat tyre technology, for reasons of weight and comfort.
ALPINA-typical interior & exterior design cues demonstrate the D3 Bi-Turbo Coupé’s individuality and elegance. Attractive light-alloy wheels, an instrument cluster with blue dials, and a leather sports steering wheel with ALPINA emblem and multi-functionality (automatic tranmission) are standard on the D3 Bi-Turbo. The front spoiler minimises lift and underscores the Coupé’s aesthetic lines, which can be augmented further with an optional rear spoiler.
Initially offered as a Coupé, the D3 will also be available as a Saloon and Touring in Autumn 2008. With the advent of the new-generation D3, ALPINA furthers the previous model’s success.
Economical driving and saving money is fun in the BMW ALPINA Bi-Turbo Coupé, a unique combination of driving enjoyment, high fuel economy and tasteful design.
Other Key points
Brakes up from the D3 to D3 Bi-Turbo 300mm/300mm fr/rr to 330mm/336mm
The engine`s radiator has been increased in size for greater cooling, D3 to D3 Bi-Turbo
The manual gearbox is up from the ZF SG6 - 37 to the ZF SG6 - 53 ( the `37` and `53` refering to kg*m of torque)
The SWITCH-TRONIC box is straight out of the B3, and loosely based on the 6HP19 TU, with an extra planetary plate and different flywheel for the 100millisec up-shifts in spite of the torque.
All driveshafts, the prop-shaft and two half-shafts, have been up-rated for more torque through-put
All software is new, with no take-over from D3 to D3 Bi-Turbo
Straight exhaust with no rear box, akin to a race exhaust. Meaning better sound and increased throughput, allowing the new D3 to rev to 5,200 rpm.
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D3 and D3 Bi-turbo Power and Torque Curves