With 462 horsepower and room for all your stuff, who needs a crossover?
We know, we know. Wagons are a dying breed, and crossovers are taking their place. But that's in America. Over in Europe, "estates" are still very much alive. Performance estates, even – like the new Alpina B3 Touring.
Based on the long-roof version of the latest BMW 3 Series, the B3 Touring is as close as we're likely ever going to see to a new M3 wagon. Only BMW won't sell the 3 Series estate in America, much less bring over Alpina's version – which makes this a rather tantalizing piece of forbidden fruit indeed.
Just how tantalizing, exactly? Try 462 horsepower on for size, with 516 lb-ft of torque to go with it. That's significantly more than the departing M3, and probably more than even the new one will offer. All that muscle's produced by a 3.0-liter twin-turbo straight six, channeled to all four of its 19-inch (or optional 20-inch) wheels through Alpina-tuned versions of BMW's xDrive traction system, ZF's popular eight-speed automatic transmission, and an electronically controlled rear-wheel limited-slip differential.
Alpina has also tuned the suspension with Eibach springs and adaptive dampers, and fitted giant 395-mm brake discs at the front and 345-mm discs at the back to keep it all under control.
The quasi-OEM tuner has also applied its signature aerodynamic upgrades that give the wagon a more aggressive look, though not as overt as BMW's own M division typically does. And it's enhanced the interior as well.
Alpina hasn't released the full list of performance figures for the new B3 Touring, but says it will be able to cruise the Autobahn at upwards of 300 kilometers per hour. That's over 186 miles per hour by our standards, and it will do it while hauling 53.3 cubic feet of cargo (with the rear seats folded down). Shame we can't have one.