There was a time when diesel meant one of two things: This vehicle's owner either wants to save some money at the pump or needs to haul massive loads. It definitely did not mean that the owner of said machine wanted to drive fast, but that perception has slowly but surely been changing over the last several years, with automakers from Volkswagen and Ford to Audi and BMW offering spiced-up versions of their high-compression, turbocharged diesels.

It's that last automaker we mentioned that's the subject of the video you'll see down below. One bright-blue BMW M3 was procured by the Brits at Autocar, and it was lined up against a deep-black Alpina D3 (which we sadly can't buy in the US) in a spate of tests, including acceleration, stopping, sound and lap times on a closed circuit. The results, which we won't spoil for you, were enlightening, and were followed up by personal impressions from the man behind the wheel.

We know you're curious. All it takes to find out which of these 3.0-liter, twin-turbo-powered 3 Series variants came out on top is to scroll down below and watch. You know what to do.

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  • 2016 BMW M3
    MSRP: $63,200 - $63,200
    2015 BMW M3
    MSRP: $62,000 - $62,000
    2013 BMW M3
    MSRP: $60,100 - $69,050
    2012 BMW M3
    MSRP: $60,100 - $68,750
    2011 BMW M3
    MSRP: $55,900 - $67,550
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