Remember March of this year? Easy to understand if not, there's been quite a lot going on in the past nine months. Even at the time, news of another Alpina XD3 was not huge, what with it being Geneva show time and all. But now it's been confirmed for the UK, with a release next year, the XD3 is rather more newsworthy - what with all the diesel fuss at the moment.
A brief refresh: like the previous XD3, this car uses Alpina's twin-turbo version of BMW's straight-six diesel (the standard engine using just one turbo), now making 333hp and 516lb ft. Which is, er, less power than before. Alpina claims a 0-60mph sprint of 4.8 seconds and a 158mph top speed, though, which remains pretty extraordinary for something so large. Interestingly this car suffers especially badly from homologation to WLTP; previously the XD3 was 44.1mpg and 173g/km on NEDC, but now 31.4mpg and 238g/km. Erk.
Additional tweaks are exactly those we like to see from Buchloe: "Alpina's dynamics specialists have spent months optimising the chassis not by hurling it around a race track, but by simply driving as customers would: on roads, enjoying every mile however fast or slow. The result is remarkable ride quality combined with a pin sharp driving experience" reads the press material, which sounds A-OK to us. To that end the car has bespoke front wishbones for one degree of negative camber, retuned electric steering, stiffer springs, recalibrated dampers (softer in compression, stiffer in rebound) and forged 22-inch wheels, saving 15kg of unsprung mass. Should you actually want to take an XD3 off-road, a set of 20-inch cast wheels with a bit more tyre profile are available.
Add all that to the usual raft of Alpina cosmetic tweaks inside and out, plus the range of customer individualisation available, and the result looks rather appealing. If not exactly the best of both worlds combo it once seemed to represent. Prices start at £57,900, with Alpina promising "significantly upgraded standard equipment" and deliveries from April. Fancy a used example, to save some cash? Good luck finding one of those...