Alpina is getting ready to dip its toes into the waters of electrification.
The niche German luxury carmaker will introduce its first mild-hybrid model to Australia when the updated XD3 SUV touches down early in 2021.
“We have started [48V] right now with the diesel engines in the 3 Series, and in the future of course for the XD3 you have in Australia as well,” Alpina CEO Andreas Bovensiepen told CarExpert.
“BMW has integrated a 48-volt system and we overtake this system. So this is the first steps into electric mobility.”
Although the BMW 3 Series-based D3 S (above) debuted mild-hybrid power for Alpina globally, it has been ruled out for the Australian market.
The updated XD3 is expected feature the same powertrain as the D3 S, combining a 3.0-litre inline-six turbo-diesel engine with a 48V mild hybrid system to output 265kW of power and 730Nm of torque.
That’s up from the 245kW and 700Nm offered by the non-mild-hybrid six in the current XD3.
Although it hasn’t yet been locked in, the updated XD3 will likely wear a slight price increase over the current model ($109,990 before on-road costs) given the extra tech packed under the bonnet.
It’s should feature the same suite of equipment standard, meaning the lovely Alpina bodykit, more luxurious interior materials, and a set of spindly wheels will be included – but extras such as a panoramic sunroof won’t be.
Launched locally in 2016, the Alpina brand is still a small player in Australia.
With a more affordable starting price than the B5 sedan and wagon, and a more fashionable body style than the upcoming 3 Series-based B3 twins, the XD3 is arguably its most important model.
“Since late-2016 there have been 80 Alpinas built for Australia,” a company spokesperson told CarExpert.
“XD3 is up to 30 units with our next production, in under a year on sale.
“Given the exclusive nature of our products (2000 global production) we are really encouraged by the XD3’s performance in this market.”
Although Audi has recently reintroduced the diesel SQ5, the XD3 has no direct competitor from Mercedes-Benz or BMW, which has only the petrol-powered X3 M40i and X3 M as performance options.
The X3 M40d on which the XD3 is based isn’t offered locally.
The XD3 will be joined by the XB7 SUV in Australia early in 2021. With power from a worked-over version of the V8 engine in the X7 M50i, pumping out a massive 457kW of power and 800Nm of torque.
Despite its considerable size, the XB7 sprints to 100km/h in just 4.2 seconds, 0.5 seconds better than the X7 M50i and identical to the upcoming Mercedes-AMG GLS 63.
Tune in next weekend for our full conversation with Andreas Bovensiepen.