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Alpina’s M3-engined wagon revealed

By Louis Cordony, 11 Sep 2019 Frankfurt Motor Show

2020 Alpina B3 Touring S revealed news

It’s the performance wagon that the world never knew it wanted

Alpina has treated the world to what it never knew it wanted: an M3 wagon, of sorts.

This is its all-new Alpina B3 S Touring. And while it might be missing the comically pumped guards and bonnet bulge you’d expect on an M3, it actually is the first production 3 Series to be revealed with the new M3’s engine known as the S58.

BMW has traditionally let Alpina plug its model portfolio gaps and the B3 S Touring is the latest example. Of course, to help differentiate it, the 3.0-litre twin-turbo six has been tuned with specific turbochargers and a completely different character.

Instead of the 375kW and 600Nm found in the X3/X4M, it detunes power to 340kW and inflates torque to 700Nm. That’s 16kW and 40Nm up on the old car, even with the fitment of a new petrol particulate filter. And while Alpina’s ignored quoting acceleration times in the press package, it’s still gone to the effort of optimising its launch control function for 0-200km/h blasts.

It’ll do them quickly since an electronically controlled rear limited slip differential teams with an all-wheel drive system to keep the B3 S Touring’s nose pointing straight. There’s no word on whether it’ll be able to disengage the front halfshafts, but it also scores an eight-speed auto developed with ZF that will help it max out over 300km/h in top gear.

Geek Speak: 2020 M3 S58 engine explained

Bigger cooling ducts in that unique front bar, along with two extra coolers and an underside NACA duct cooling the transmission, should control critical temperatures at full throttle. Meanwhile Eibach springs, bump stops and stabiliser bars combine with the three-mode adaptive dampers to tune the 3 Series Estate’s handling to Alpina’s tastes.

Brakes are uprated to 395mm front discs and 345mm rear discs within trademark blue fixed calipers that hide behind 19-inch wheels. Or you can up the size to 20-inches with forged items that Alpina claims are 13.7kg lighter than regular alloy equivalents. Each set come wrapped in 255mm and 265mm wide Pirelli P Zero tyres.

Alpina considers itself quite the connoisseur on interior design so you can imagine there’s a fair bit of customisation on offer inside should your budget allow it. Meanwhile, it claims the option Lavalina leather is the most natural material of its kind. It’s also reflashed the digital cluster with Alpina-specific tachometers and gauges.

European deliveries begin in the second half of 2020 with Australia hoping to secure the B3 Touring for local deliveries later that year. 

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