All-new 186-mph Alpina B3 Touring has exclusivity, performance, and practicality to boot

Lovers of fast wagons, you might want to sit down for this one as the mere sight of it will make your knees weak - the 2020 BMW Alpina B3 Touring is upon us and it is absolutely glorious. Wraps have just come off it at the 2019 Frankfurt Motor Show and it has instantly become one of the coolest BMWs you can buy right now at any price.

What has Alpina done to the 2019 BMW M340i xDrive Touring to create the 2020 B3 Touring?

It is, as you might have imagined, based on the latest BMW M340i xDrive Touring, a formula which it spices up with a handful of cosmetic and performance mods that turn the new B3 Touring into something quite special.

Sure, it helps that the M340i wagon is already a sold, accomplished performance load lugger, but this new Alpina version just has more appeal and character.
2020 Alpina B3 Touring is here to cull your BMW M3 Wagon craving Exterior
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The new B3 Touring has the same engine as the 340i Touring, but Alpina chucked out BMW’s single turbo and replaced it with its own twin-turbo setup, in order to help it make considerably more power - 455 horsepower (462 PS) and a peak torque figure of 700 Nm (516 pound-feet). By comparison, the power plant of the M340i puts out 368 horsepower (374 PS) and 500 Nm (368 pound-feet) of torque - the B3 has 87 horsepower and 200 Nm (147 pound-feet) more; that’s 23 percent more power and a whopping 40 percent more torque.

In order to put it even better into perspective, that’s 30 more horsepower and 150 Nm (110 pound-feet) more than what a current BMW M4 makes. And since it’s based on the M340i, which is exclusively available paired with all-wheel drive, the B3 Touring will probably out-accelerate a standard M3 or M4 (especially right off the line).

2020 Alpina B3 Touring is here to cull your BMW M3 Wagon craving Exterior
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Aside from upgrading the engine, Alpina has also fettled with the ZF eight-speed automatic transmission in order to improve its response and reduce shift times - in other words, it should shift more aggressively than the gearbox of the standard M340i and this is a good thing, because that car, even in its sportiest mode, shifts a bit too smoothly when you maybe might have wanted it to slam through the gears a bit harder.

The suspension has also been changed. Alpina fitted Eibach springs, thicker sway bars, as well as a Variable Damper Control setup in order to keep the B3 Touring’s body in check through the corners.

Bigger brakes front and rear complete the list of handling improvements and they come with a set of snazzy looking blue calipers with obligatory Alpina branding.

How can you tell the 2020 Alpina B3 Touring apart from the 2019 BMW M340i xDrive Touring?

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We’ve come to expect from Alpina to put its own bumpers and side skirts on the cars that it creates. In the B3 Touring’s case, the front bumper is identical to that of the M340i, but it does have a different lower part bolted on that gives the car a more aggressive look - plus it has the Alpina script in the small lower grille.

The side skirts appear to be different to those on the M340 (although it’s hard to tell if this is the case), but the rear bumper is definitely different. Just like the front bumper, the top part is the same as on the BMW, but the lower part is completely redesigned and it features a pair of dual exhausts that looks much sexier than the standard BMW lower bumper with trapezoidal exhaust tips.

2020 Alpina B3 Touring is here to cull your BMW M3 Wagon craving Exterior
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Sure, the BMW looks more modern from the back, but there is some old school charm to the way the B3 Touring’s rear end looks.

The rear bumper insert and the Alpina B3 script conclude the list of body mods and the only other noticeable exterior difference is the paint finish and the unique rims that can be had on this model - a set of 19-inch 5x4 multi-spoke wheels or a 20-inch “with a traditional, minimalistic 20 spoke design, which also sees the reintroduction of the trademark lockable wheel hub cover.”

How much faster is the 2020 Alpina B3 Touring compared to the 2019 BMW M340i xDrive Touring?

2020 Alpina B3 Touring is here to cull your BMW M3 Wagon craving Exterior
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Alpina doesn’t officially state how long it takes the B3 wagon to hit 100 km/h (62 mph) from rest, but since it has a bit more power and a lot more torque, as well as more aggressive calibration for the automatic gearbox, it’s safe to assume it’s going to be quicker.

The M340 xDrive Touring requires just 4.4 seconds to do the benchmark sprint, so the Alpina model will most likely dip below the 4-second mark.

That would also make it faster than the M3 and M4. At the top end, Alpina says the B3 Touring will do “over 300 km/h” (186 mph); this is considerably faster than the M340i Touring whose top speed is electronically pegged at 250 km/h (155 mph).

With Alpina’s suspension enhancements and more aggressive tires, the car’s front-to-rear torque vectoring capability, as well as the mechanical locking differential it has on the rear axle should provide great traction on corner exit.

When will the 2020 Alpina B3 Touring reach the market and how much will it cost?

2020 Alpina B3 Touring is here to cull your BMW M3 Wagon craving Exterior
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Alpina has announced that it plans to open the order books for the B3 wagon in the first quarter of 2020, with deliveries commencing around the middle of the year. Prices have yet to be announced, but the car will probably be around 30 percent more expensive than the M340i wagon which, in Europe, starts from around €64,000.

Further reading

2020 BMW 3 Series Touring
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Read our full review on the 2020 BMW 3 Series Touring.

Andrei Nedelea
About the author

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