If you’re in the market for a fast BMW X3 but don’t feel like waiting for the proper X3 M, or maybe that car is too hardcore, you have two choice: the BMW X3 M40i and this — the ALPINA XD3.

Admittedly, the latter choice is only available in Europe, which should be a crime but that’s a discussion for another time. However, for many European customers, the ALPINA XD3 might actually be the best choice of X3, even when the X3 M debuts.

See, ALPINAs have always been special cars. Yes, they’re based on standard BMWs and aren’t tuned by the M Divison. But that doesn’t matter. What ALPINA does to its BMWs is very special and turns a seemingly ordinary Bimmer into something truly unique and exciting.

With the case of the ALPINA XD3, it really transforms something ordinary into something extraordinary. The base car is a diesel-powered X3, the sort that you buy if you want to haul the family and save on fuel. However, once ALPINA gets its hands on it, it become an extra luxurious, surprisingly fast and genuinely enjoyable thing to drive.

According to Autocar, everything from the XD3’s ALPINA-specific styling and its upgraded interior to its more nimble handling and enhanced engine makes it feel more special than a standard X3 from the beginning. How enhanced is that engine? Quite a bit actually. ALPINA takes a standard 3.0 liter turbocharged I6 diesel BMW engine and upgrades its pistons, cooling, turbochargers and air intake, among other things. All of that brings power up to 328 hp and a planet-tugging 516 lb-ft of torque.

We won’t spoil what Autocar has to say about it, as it’s a good review and you should read it (especially since we can’t review it here in the ‘States). However, it’s safe to say that the ALPINA XD3 is a special car and one that deserves its place in the market.

[Source: Autocar]