Alpina XD3 Bi-Turbo offers facelifted looks, diesel-powered 4.9-sec 0-62 sprint [w/video]

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I've always thought it would be fascinating to look at the psychographic data of Alpina's customer base. While the company's high-zoot rendition of BMW 7 and 5 Series sedans makes plenty of sense, I don't quite understand the appeal of the still-expensive tunes, further down the range.

Enter the European-only Alpina XD3 Bi-Turbo, which made its debut here in Geneva today. The XD3 has been around for a bit, but this year it's refreshed to coincide with the BMW X3's own nip-tuck. The result is essentially a new front and back fascia on the same, ginormous Alpina wheels that make the brand's products instantly recognizable.

For anyone that covets huge diesel performance in a small SUV-shaped package, that's a good thing. The XD3 pushes a whopping 516 pound-feet of torque and 345 horsepower out of its 3.0-liter, biturbo sixer, all good for a 0-62-mile-per-hour sprint of just 4.9 seconds. Which is quick by any measure.

Still, the privilege of driving the fast, high-center-of-gravity Bimmer doesn't come cheaply – Alpina would like just over 69,000 euro ($77,000 by today's rates) for each example. That kind of coin will buy a European equal performance in the form of a Porsche Macan diesel, or any number of non-SUV performance rides, too. It takes a special mind, I suppose...

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