You wouldn’t be blamed for thinking anyone setting out to make a better 2015 BMW M4 was on a fool’s errand. Journalists and critics have been known to use the M-Series as a benchmark for the segment. With a 3.0-liter, straight-six engine singing to a tune of 425 horsepower at the rear wheels, plus some of the best suspension in the business and the sort of high-end luxury you’d expect from BMW, making a better yardstick is far from simple.

However, there’s one company that’s proven time and again that BMW’s best can indeed be improved upon. In fact, Bavarian performance house Alpina has been doing it since the 60s. The company prides itself as a manufacturer, rather than a tuner, a claim backed by the close relationship Alpina enjoys with the German automaker.

Alpina’s latest effort begins with the diesel version of the 2014 BMW 4-Series, which promptly receives a barrage of subtle and not-so-subtle improvements to the exterior, interior, and performance pieces, rendering a vehicle that’s more than capable of challenging an M4. Vital stats are listed as such: an eight-speed gearbox is mated to a twin-turbocharged, 3.0-liter inline-six to produce 350 horsepower and an outrageous 516 pound-feet of torque, blessing the luxury coupe with a 0-to-100-km/h time of 4.6 seconds and a top speed of 173 mph. That’s squarely in M4 territory, and since it’s a diesel, you’ll get some very nice mileage stats to boot, with an advertised rate of around 44 mpg. Throw in the fact that the D4 Biturbo is cheaper than an M4, and suddenly, there might just be more than one yardstick to choose from.

In this video review, Autocar takes the Alpina out to some leaf-strewn country roads for a shakedown of what it’s like to drive, both tooling along normally, and crossed up with smoke billowing from the rear. While the reviewer is clearly in love with the machine, that’s ok: we totally understand. Now if only we could find one in a dealership on this side of the Atlantic…

2014 BMW 4 Series

2014 BMW 4 Series Coupe High Resolution Exterior
- image 510925
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