While the BMW X3 has been around since 2004, Alpina’s version of it, the XD3 Bi-Turbo, has been only been around since 2014. Like all other Alpina models, the XD3 is based on the production Bimmer, but with a handful of exterior and interior updates, and a nice power bump as well. For the 2015 model year, the XD3 inherits all of the styling updates of the 2015 X3.

Some people mistakenly consider Alpina a BMW tuner, when in fact it is its own automaker as recognized by the German Ministry of Transport. Additionally, Alpina and BMW actually work closely with one another, and many of Alpina’s manufacturing processes are built directly into BMW’s production line. How many tuners can you think of who work that closely with a major automaker? I can’t think of a single one.

So, how does the XD3 stack up against the big boys of the luxury SUV world?

Click past the jump to read my full review of the Alpina XD3 Bi -Turbo to find out.

  • 2015 BMW Alpina XD3 Bi-Turbo
  • Year:
    2015
  • Make:
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    inline-6
  • Transmission:
    Eight-Speed Automatic
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
    350 @ 4000
  • Torque @ RPM:
    516 @ 1500
  • Displacement:
    3.0 L
  • 0-60 time:
    4.9 sec.
  • Top Speed:
    156 mph
  • Price:
    € 69100
  • Price:
  • car segment:
  • body style:

Exterior

2015 BMW Alpina XD3 Bi-Turbo High Resolution Exterior
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2015 BMW Alpina XD3 Bi-Turbo High Resolution Exterior
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2015 BMW Alpina XD3 Bi-Turbo High Resolution Exterior
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The most important pieces to talk about, however, are what separate the Alpina XD3 from the BMW X3.

For 2015, the BMW X3 that the Alpina XD3 is based on received a refreshed front end, so it is no surprise that this is where the majority of the changes take place. The grille is now larger and more pronounced, the headlights now stretch all the way to the grille, and the front apron gets a light redesign.

The most important pieces to talk about, however, are what separate the Alpina XD3 from the BMW X3 diesel. To be honest, there’s not a lot, but just enough. The Alpina features a more aggressive front apron that is almost M-like, with large air intakes and a fat, body-colored crossbar.

Around back, the changes are equally light, as Alpina reworked the shape of the bumper with a new insert. Hanging from openings on either end of the new bumper insert are quad tailpipes.

Also exclusive to the Alpina model are the Alpina Classic 20-inch wheels. Buyers looking for slightly larger wheels can opt for 21-inch versions.

In terms of color options, there are six metallic colors and one non-metallic. The non-metallic color is called Alpine White, while the metallic options include Carbon Black, Glacier Silver, Melbourne Red, Black Sapphire, Space Grey, and Deep Sea Blue. Additionally, buyers can opt for silver or gold Alpina logos on the spoilers, or no logos at all.

2015 Alpina DX3 Bi-Turbo Vs. 2015 BMW X3

2015 BMW Alpina XD3 Bi-Turbo
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Exterior Dimensions

Length 4,651 MM (183.11 Inches)
Width 1,901 MM (74.84 Inches)
Height, unladen 1,670 MM (65.74 Inches)
Wheelbase 2,810 MM (110.62 Inches)
Track, front 1,614 MM (63.54 Inches)
Track, rear 1,609 MM (63.34 Inches)
Luggage capacity 550-1600 Liters (17.7-56.5 Cu Ft)
Fuel tank capacity 67 Liters (17.7 Gallons)

Interior

2015 BMW Alpina XD3 Bi-Turbo Interior
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2015 BMW Alpina XD3 Bi-Turbo Interior
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2015 BMW Alpina XD3 Bi-Turbo High Resolution Interior
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You also get an exclusive plaque that has the specific build number of your XD3.

Like the X3, the XD3 is a fine place to spend a long Sunday drive. It’s decked out in premium Nevada Leather from Bimmer, available in seven colors, while its steering wheel is wrapped up in Lavalina leather with blue and green parallel stitching, plus you are free to customize the wheel as you see fit, including its thickness. Sitting behind the wheel are Alpina gauges, which are not shared with the X3. They feature the brand’s signature red-on-blue motif.

Setting the rest of the cabin apart from the X3 are the Alpina-branded door-sill plates, and the Alpina logos on the seatbacks, steering wheel, and floor mats. You also get an exclusive plaque that has the specific build number of your XD3.

Standard features in the XD3 include heat-insulating glass, heated front seats, Park Distance Control, dual-zone auto climate control, cruise with auto braking, and a 6.5-inch color screen. On top of the standard features, there are nearly limitless options, including bespoke customization.

Drivetrain

2015 BMW Alpina XD3 Bi-Turbo High Resolution Exterior
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The power routes through an eight-speed Switch-Tronic transmission on its way to all four wheels via Bimmer’s xDrive all-wheel drive.

Under the hood is one place where it’s easy to separate the XD3 from the X3. In its most powerful trim, the xDrive35d, the X3’s 3.0-liter TwinPower Turbo engine produces 313 horsepower and 465 pound-feet of torque, whereas the XD3’s 3.0-liter biturbo engine produces 350 horsepower at 4,000 rpm and 516 pound-feet of torque between 1,500 and 3,000 rpm.

The power routes through an eight-speed Switch-Tronic transmission on its way to all four wheels via Bimmer’s xDrive all-wheel-drive system. This drivetrain sprints the XD3 to 62 mph in 4.9 seconds — 0.4 seconds faster than the X3 xDrive35d M Sport — and up to a top speed of 156 mph.

Thought it is heavily tuned, this diesel powerplant is also pretty fuel efficient, as it is rated at 7.3 L/100km (32 mpg) in the city, 6.2 L/100km (38 mpg) on the highway, and 6.6 L/100km (36 mpg) combined.

Drivetrain Specifications

Cylinders Inline-Six
Capacity (cc) 2,993
Bore (mm) 84.0
Stroke (mm) 90.0
Compression ratio (:1) 16.5
Max output 350 HP @ 4,000 RPM
Max torque 516 LB-FT @ 1,500-3,000 RPM
Acceleration 0-100 km/h (62 mph) 4.9 seconds
Top speed 251 KM/H (156 MPH)

Prices

2015 BMW Alpina XD3 Bi-Turbo High Resolution Exterior
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Pricing for the 2015 Alpina XD3 starts at €69,100 ($78,214 as of 2/10/2015), and quickly shoots up from there as you start adding in options.

Competition

BMW X3 xDrive35d

2015 BMW X3 High Resolution Exterior
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Competition for the Alpina XD3 starts right at home with the BMW X3. Though they share technology and resources, there is no denying the fact that they also compete with one another. The only X3 diesel that can hang with the Alpina is the xDrive35d M Sport, which starts at £45,695 ($69,712 as of 2/10/2015), which puts it a good bit under the Alpina.

In terms of equipment, the X3 xDrive35d is very similar to the Alpina, as it comes standard with Nevada leather and most of the other premium goodies that the XD3 features. So, the issue at hand is whether the looks and speed of the XD3 are worth the extra scratch over the X3 xDrive35d.

Audi Q5

2014 Audi Q5 High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
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The Audi Q5 is another German SUV that can take on the Alpina XD3, particularly considering its base price of £36,720 ($55,990 as of 2/10/2015) in its range-topping S Line Plus trim. To get the Q5 near the XD3’s level, however, you’ll need to step up to the 3.0-liter TDI engine, which produces 241 horsepower at 4,000 rpm and 427 pound-feet of torque from 1,400 rpm, putting it slightly under both the Bimmer and the Alpina. Jumping into this engine pushes the base price to £42,335 ($64,575 as of 2/10/2015).

This engine mates to Audi’s S tronic transmission and the power routes to all four wheels via quattro all-wheel drive. This allows the Q5 to hit 62 mph in 6.5 seconds and continue to a top speed of 140 mph.

In terms of luxury, like the X3, the Q5 meets all the Alpina has to offer, but is the extra money worth the looks and performance of the XD3?

Conclusion

2015 BMW Alpina XD3 Bi-Turbo High Resolution Exterior
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There’s just something about seeing an Alpina that’s special. I’ve seen a few in my life and honestly, I remember each one clearly. Unfortunately, they are very rare here in the U.S., and the XD3 is not even available here. The big downside to Alpina is that the name and ability to push Bimmer vehicles to new heights comes at a significant price. Still, the thought of a sub-five-second diesel SUV boggles the mind and makes me want to take a trip to Europe.

  • Leave it
    • Extremely expensive relative to its competition
    • Not many changes on the inside
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