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BMW confirms Alpina for Aus

B3 all four it: If BMW offers the same options as European Alpina models, Australians will be able to get their hands on a four-wheel-drive 3 Series-based B3 in either wagon or sedan form.

Hot Alpina range officially coming to Australian BMW line-up from November


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5 Jul 2016

BMW has finally confirmed that the spicy Alpina range of hotted up models that has eluded Australia for 50 years will at last be offered to local customers, starting with the 4 Series-based B4 Bi-Turbo that rolls into Melbourne in November.

GoAuto outed the first Alpina on Australian turf last month along with the plan to introduce the more exclusive range of fettled BMWs when we spotted a B4 taking centre stage in a Melbourne showroom, but the German car-maker has today made it official.

Both Coupe and Convertible versions of the B4 will be offered first having already undergone Australian Design Rules (ADR) approval, but the pair will be joined by the 3 Series-based B3 Bi-Turbo in sedan and Touring wagon form as soon as their compliance has been granted.

If successful Down Under, the range is likely to expand into the other models that are offered in Europe, including 5 Series-based B5, B6 6 Series-derived models, a B7 which uses the 7 Series flagship as its basis and even an XD3 which starts life as the X3 diesel SUV.

Australian distribution of the range will be handled by The In Motion Group which has major dealership locations in the Melbourne suburbs of Doncaster and Bundoora, but the network is set to grow, covering other metropolitan regions nationwide. Exact locations will be announced later this year.

BMW Group Australia CEO Marc Werner said the bespoke brand was a valuable addition to the local range of luxury models.

“Alpina has a long history of producing tailored cars based on BMW models and wewelcome their presence in the Australian market,” he said.

Alpina was officially founded in 1965 but the company’s history tuning and performance-enhancing BMWs goes back to 1962. For the last five decades, the outfit has forged a close relationship with the brand, achieving official endorsement of BMW and recognition as a car-maker by the German Ministry of Transport.

In addition to boosted performance and fettled aesthetics, Alpina models offer an extra level of customisation and all models sold locally will be built to order. An initial fleet of eight B4 Bi-Turbos will arrive as demonstrators for interested customers.

For the B4, Alpina takes a ‘standard’ BMW 440i and pumps power of the 3.0-litre turbocharged straight six up 16kW to 301kW and boosts torque to 600Nm (up 50Nm) thanks to the addition of an extra turbo – reflected in its namesake. The tuning work cuts acceleration from zero to 100km/h to 4.2 seconds and a top speed of 303km/h.

That performance puts the Alpina just 0.1 second slower than the M4, but with more of a focus on GT comfort and luxury features, the Alpina range is not regarded to be in direct competition with BMW’s range of M-powered models.

Convertible models get a similar treatment taking output to 301kW and 600Nm with 0-100km/h taking 4.5 seconds and a top speed of 301km/h. Despite the significant grunt under the bonnet, Alpina says the B4 will return fuel economy of 8.0 litres per 100km.

For the B3 brace of Touring and sedan, Alpina applies the same tuning as the B4 Convertible resulting in 0-100km/h acceleration of 4.3s for the sedan B3.

In all cases, an eight-speed automatic transmission handles the extra mumbo.

In Europe, all except the B4 Convertible are available with either traditional rear wheel drive or BMW’s xDrive four-wheel-drive system, but the car-maker has not revealed whether Australian customers will be offered the traction-boosting transmission here.

The extra performance is complemented by the classic Alpina 20-spoke alloy wheel design, Alpina bodykit and the iconic pinstripe decals along the flanks.

Exhaust, chassis and suspension all get a revision to complete the Alpina performance modifications.

On the inside, customers are offered a greater range of customisation options from both BMW’s range of Individual extras as well as the unique Alpina set, in addition to the unique Alpina steering wheel and individual build number plaque.

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