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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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 1 Year Ago
      If Alpina offered 50 models of the D3 in the US it'd be sold out before orders were even being taken.
        • 1 Year Ago
        True. But the B3 would have a better chance of making it over than the D3
      • 1 Year Ago
      D3 all the way! Too bad the D3 isn't available in the USA or I'd be trading in my 328d.
      • 1 Year Ago
      Awesome. This is a complete reversal of the 335i vs 335d comparisons we used to see (petrol on top). Now performance diesel has completely come into its own and the D3 comes in level with the M3. Alpina D3. The Ultimate Driving Machine.
      Kookie Monster
      • 1 Year Ago
      I'm utterly impressed by that diesel. It's truly shameful that the US doesn't invite more diesel engines into the auto market. I hope that changes sooner rather than later.
      anto needo
      • 1 Year Ago
      Interesting comparison. I'd have to say the D3. It just makes that much more sense
      • 1 Year Ago
      I'm not a fan of the 8-spd in the D3 to be honest. Also, I would pick the M3 over the D3 just because of tuning capabilities, etc.
      • 1 Year Ago
      It seems the new M3 isn't as sharp as the previous gen, and the D3 just seems to be the better softer M3 that BMW was actually aiming for...
        • 1 Year Ago
        That's not what I got from this. The M3 seems plenty sharp. Its problem, if you want to go so far as to call it that, is that it may be too much so for casual enthusiasts. If you don't occasionally go to the track, you're apt to bemoan some of the compromises that arise from its commitment to the sporting end of the spectrum. Conversely, the D3 is a sublime docile daily driver with enough performance on hand to satisfy all but the most discerning enthusiasts. Alpina has played this contrast for a while now, and I'm glad to see that it's still obtainable despite BMW's venture into forced induction taking a past element of distinction away from them.
      • 1 Year Ago
      Okay, the D3 obviously looks like a great car, but it's apparent the reviewer had his mind made up before the test even began. The M3 has a considerably more focused and sport-oriented mission statement. The things that make it such can't be held against it. Also, there's no way the 2 are as close in performance as they made it seem. They were either sand bagging the M3, or not driving it in its proper settings.
      • 1 Year Ago
      Either is great.
      • 1 Year Ago
      If we taxed displacement, power @ registration, and more importantly fuel & lubricants @ the register the way the EU does, we'd see far more consumers yelling for excellent diesels in reasonably-sized packages like the D3. Fuel is so cheap, some idiots still see fit to spew un-burnt fuel out their tailpipes (rolling coal) as entertainment & pseudo-penile extensions, and consider 5000+ lb. trucks as reasonable commuter vehicles to office jobs. What about treating transportation fuel as a precious commodity we're willing to start wars over?
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