German luxury performance-car studio Alpina has unleashed what it claims is the world's quickest production diesel sedan, the D3 Bi-Turbo, for which it quotes an intimidating 257kW and 700Nm.
Now that's fighting talk but, if the D3 lives up to its advance billing of 0-100 in 4.6 seconds and 277km/h flat out, at the expense of only 5.3 litres per 100km and 139g/km of CO2, it will be hard to top.
The D3 Bi-Turbo is based on BMW's latest-generation 3 Series, the result of a two-year development programme during which the Alpina team of 50 development engineers worked with specialist suppliers to enhance the engine, gearbox, cooling system, body structure, wheels, tyres, aerodynamics, suspension and interior - using the same design and validation protocols used by BMW.
The BMW Alpina D3 Bi-Turbo is available in the UK as a sedan for £46 950 (R745 500) or as a Touring for £49 950 (R795 000) with a long list of standard equipment that includes an eight-speed automatic gearbox, adaptive M Sport Suspension, leather upholstery, electrically adjustable, heated sports seats, climate control and bi-xenon headlights.
The interior is tricked out with luxury floormats and subtle Alpina logos on the seat backs and door sills. The instruments are backlit in Alpina's signature blue and the steering wheel is covered in luxurious, hand-stitched Lavalina leather.
The new D3 Bi-Turbo's subtle aero kit was developed in BMW's own wind, and the external upgrades include a four-pipe exhaust with 'intelligent' acoustic valve, and 19" alloy rims in Alpina's famous Classic design. Every car is finished with a plaque on the centre console, showing the car's unique build number.
In addition to being available with all the BMW options - including the BMW Individual range - Alpina's in-house craftsmen can provide personalised trim limited only by your imagination and the depth of your cheque-book, including hand-stitched full leather interiors and a wide range of hand-finished wood veneers for the dashboard and doors.