BMW M3 versus Alpina D3, which is better
(petrol or diesel)?
The similarities between these two astonishing 3-series are, of course, many, which is hardly surprising given that they share the body shell, the same rear-wheel drive chassis, the same suspension layout and the exact same cabin and boot dimensions.
However, beyond these features, they go about achieving what they do in very different ways from each other, and in the end, those disparities are, in places, quite apparent.
The M3 is propelled by a twin-turbocharged 3.0-litre 6-cylinder petrol engine that produces 425bhp and can provide 406lb ft, between 1800 and 5500rpm .It has the ability to rev to 7500rpm and beyond.
The D3’s twin-turbo six-pot diesel engine, on the other hand, is all done by 5000rpm, and although it has a lot less power than the M3 (345bhp), it has a lot more torque. The amount it produces is almost hilarious, in fact, with an eye-watering 516lb ft being available from just 1500rpm.
Despite the fact that the 1660kg D3 weighs a touch more than the 1635kg M3, in theory it can all but level with the factory car in a straight line.
In the past, you would have automatically said that the petrol engine 3.0-litre, 6-cylinder, twin-turbo M3 would be the quickest and best, because of its petrol engine. However, Alpina have managed to change all of that by matching the petrol powered M3 with the exact same engine but run by diesel instead of petrol.
Statistics of the two cars in question:
Alpina D3 Biturbo
Top speed: 173mph
Kerb weight: 1660kg
Engine: 6-cylinder in line, 3.0 litre, twin-turbo, diesel
Power: 345bhp at 4000rpm
Gearbox: 8-speed automatic
BMW M3 DCT
Top speed: 155mph
Kerb weight 1635kg
Engine: 6-cylinder in line, 3.0 litre, twin-turbo, petrol
Power: 425bhp at 5500-7300rpm
Gearbox: 7-speed dual-clutch automatic
So looking at all of these statistics and summary of the two cars, which one would you have.
By David Carr