BMW Alpina B3 3.3 (e46) Cabriolet manual Quick look


Beautiful Dakar Yellow! Did You know that?: At Geneva motorshow in 1999, Alpina introduced their variant of the E46- the B3 3.3. The B3 is a real bargain, ‘only’ 88500DM for the saloon and 90600DM for the coupe wich was introduced at the IAA 1999 in Frankfurt. The touring was introduced at Geneva motorshow in 2000 and the convertible followed at the Autoshow in Birmingham in 2000. At Geneva Motorshow in 2001, Alpina introduces the B3 3.3 Allrad. This model continued in production after the B3 3.3 was replaced by the B3S.

Engine/ Gearbox
The B3 3.3 and B3S engine is based on the S52B32 engine from the US- spec E36 M3 3.2 with 240hp which has a regular M50 intake and hydraulic valve lifters. The cylinder head and the single- Vanos system have more in common with the regular M50 engine than any M-engine. Alpina have increased the bore to 86.4mm as well as a longer stroke (94mm). The cylinder is tuned in traditional fashion as well a new exhaust manifold. Extremely light pistons as well as newly developed crankshaft have been used in conjunction with a new torsion- vibration damper, sustaining permanent revs of up to 7200rpm with ease. The engine produces 280bhp at 6100rpm and torque of 335Nm. The B3 is also very frugal, only 9.9litre/ 100km in mixed driving conditions. The standard gearbox is Getrag six-speed unit but the five- speed SwitchTronic is available as an option.

Suspension/ brakes/ wheels
the suspension has been uprated with stiffer springs and modified dampers. Tires are Michelin Pilot Sport, 225/40 ZR18 at the front and 255/35 ZR18 at the rear. The B3 3.3 uses 330i brake set-up, with upgraded brake pads.

Interior/ Exterior
Inside the B3 3.3 is equipped with sport seats in Alpina design leather, new instruments with blue background and red needles, luxury wood ‘Myrtle’, a hand- stitched leather steering- wheel, Alpina floor mats, Alpina door sills and silver-plated production plaque. The exterior changes are very subtle, front and rear spoiler lips are fitted.

Alpina claims a0-100 time of 5.7seconds for the manual and 6.8 for the SwithTronic version. The top speed is more than 265km/h. But Auto Motor und Sport’s test shows that the B3 is even faster. 0-100km/h in only 5.5seconds, 0-160km/h in 13.2 and 0-200 in 21.4sec. The coupe is just as fast but has a higher top speed. The touring accelerates from 0-100km/h in 6.1 and top speed of 161km/h

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