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Geneva show: Alpina outs bahn-storming XD3

Boosted: Right-hand-drive examples of the XD3 will pack a potent 3.0-litre twin-turbocharged six-cylinder engine under their bonnets.

Alpina says Australian launch undecided for 245kW/700NM BMW X3-based XD3

BMW logo27 Feb 2018

By JUSTIN HILLIARD

BMW tuning specialist Alpina has whipped the covers off its take on the third-generation X3 mid-size SUV, dubbed XD3, with the performance- and luxury-focused model packing some serious diesel grunt under its bonnet, but an Australian launch is currently undecided.

Speaking to GoAuto, Alpina Automobiles Australia sales manager Phil Jeffrey said: ''No decision has been made in relation to the Alpina XD3 for the Australian market at this stage.

''There's not really a lot that we can share from our end just yet. We haven't really given any real attention to it at this early stage.

''It's going to be a very exciting car and a great product for the brand … (and) at the end of the day, it's an opportunity that we'd be happy to explore.''

Set for an international debut at the Geneva motor show next week, the XD3 will be available to order for overseas markets in the second quarter ahead of deliveries commencing at the start of next year.

Right-hand-drive markets will see their XD3s motivated by a 3.0-litre twin-turbocharged six-cylinder engine, while left-hand-drive markets will have access to a more potent quad-turbo unit.

The former punches out 245kW of power from 4000 to 4600rpm and 700Nm of torque from 1750 to 2500rpm, enabling a dash from zero to 100km/h in 4.9 seconds while on the way to a top speed of 254km/h.

Comparatively, the latter produces 285kW from 4000 to 5000rpm and 770Nm from 1750 to 3000rpm, resulting in a triple-figure sprint in 4.6s and a terminal velocity of 266km/h.

Claimed fuel consumption on the combined cycle test is identical for both versions, at 9.0 litres per 100 kilometres, while carbon dioxide emissions are also shared at 238 grams per kilometre.

Similarly, an eight-speed ZF automatic transmission sends drive to all four wheels via a derivative of BMW's xDrive all-wheel-drive system that features Alpina-specific torque distribution.

According to Alpina, the ZF unit offers ''both a very comfortable and smooth or decidedly sporty and dynamic operation'', while the xDrive set-up ''guarantees maximum traction, neutral driving dynamics and high levels of safety''.

To cope with the increased outputs, Alpina has added its own sports suspension with electronically adjustable dampers as well as a rear limited-slip differential that ''ensures superior handling and dynamics without compromising ride comfort''.

Five Driving Experience Control driving modes – including Eco Pro, Comfort+, Comfort, Sport and Sport+ – allow the driver to adjust engine, transmission, steering and suspension settings on the move.

While the XD3 rolls on standard 20-inch alloy wheels that feature a classic 20-spoke design and are wrapped in mixed Pirelli P Zero tyres (255/45 front, 285/40 rear), these can be optionally upgraded to 22-inch rims.

Other exterior changes include Alpina's signature front and rear bumper designs, 'Alpina' and 'XD3' badging, and quad chrome exhaust tips.

Inside, unique graphics for the 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, bespoke badging, piano black and silver trim, and specific leather upholstery feature.

If it arrives locally, the XD3 will face competition from the 270kW/520Nm Mercedes-AMG GLC43 and 260kW/500Nm Audi SQ5, as well as BMW's own 265kW/500Nm X3 M40i – all of which are petrol-powered.

X3 sales were slightly down last year thanks to anticipation for the new model that was released in November with 3671 examples sold to the end of 2017, representing a four per cent decrease over the 3824 deliveries made in 2016.

However, the model did finish third in last year's over-$60,000 mid-size-SUV segment, trailing the Land Rover Discovery Sport (4547 units) and Mercedes-Benz GLC (4109) but ahead of the Lexus NX (3390), Audi Q5 (3364) and Range Rover Evoque (2909).

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