Sometimes it seems that some of the best ideas that BMW could have had end up in the scrap bin in BMW’s design studio. For instance, BMW currently has five different SUVs and two of them get M variants, except it’s the wrong two. The X5 and X6 are probably the least deserving of a proper M version . The X1, X3 and X4 would all be more deserving, as being sporty is more their style than the luxury-minded X5 and X6. Now, I’m not exactly saying that the X5 and X6 M shouldn’t exists, because their ridiculousness makes me happy. But the BMW SUVs that actually handle well don’t have an M version, and that’s a bit crazy.
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But fortunately, there seems to be a company that likes to dig through BMW’s scrap been, take the thrown out ideas and make them real. That company is ALPINA and bless its big German heart. ALPINA seems to agree with me that the X3 is more deserving of a proper go-fast edition than the X5 or X6. And it proved its point by making one, the ALPINA XD3.
The XD3 uses a 3.0 liter BiTurbo straight-six diesel engine, making 350hp and a simply insane 516 lb-ft of torque. All of that planet-tugging twist is available at 1,500 rpm and is sent through a familiar ZF eight-speed automatic to all four wheels. All of this power is good for sending the XD3 to 60mph in 4.9 seconds and on to a limited 155mph top speed. It also comes with the typical ALPINA bits like revised adaptive dampers and springs, some aero tweaks and the usual interior upgrades. Oh, and of course, the gorgeous 20” ALPINA wheels. Also, because it’s a diesel, it gets between 32 and 37mpg. Not bad for a car with 516 lb-ft of torque.
The XD3 seems like the perfect vehicle. It’s fast, comfortable, handles well and has excellent fuel economy. What more could anyone want from a daily driver? It also looks great and has a wonderfully luxurious interior, as all ALPINAs do. It’s a wonderful car and it surprises me that BMW hasn’t made one of its own yet.
The ALPINA XD3 proves that the X3’s chassis can handle a lot more power and can definitely become a fun driver’s car, with the right tuning. Now, maybe BMW doesn’t see a market for an X3 M and because of ALPINA’s low-volume sales approach, there’s a market for the XD3. But with Audi’s success with the RS Q3, I don’t see a reason why an X3 M wouldn’t sell. Though, I’m no expert and I’m sure there’s good reason for the lack of existence of an X3 M. But until then, we can dream about the ALPINA XD3, because that thing is awesome.