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      10-25-2012, 05:32 AM   #19
Alpina_B3_Lux's Avatar

Drives: Audi R8 V10, BMW 530d xDrive
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Germany

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2009 335i  [4.45]
I read this article a few weeks back when it came out - and I have seen the Alpina B3 GT3 on the Nürburgring myself when I was doing a track day back in June there. Very, very fast when driven well (these were professional drivers from Alpina doing the suspension setups for the Nordschleife).

I don't like the colour combination of the model that was tested either, but that is a moot point as you can order the car in white or black as well which makes it much more understated.

What is far more interesting is that with relatively few modifications, the N54 can be made to run on the most demanding circuit that exists just as well as the top model of the M3 with the same chassis. It speaks for the BMW engineers (to have created an engine like the N54 that has such reserves) as well as for the Alpina engineers (having dialed in the setup of the B3 GT3 so well). Doing 7:49 on the Nordschleife, faster than the normal M3 by quite a margin and on par with the M3 GTS that is 50.000 EUR more expensive is quite a feat.

The main modifications on the B3 GT3 (compared to the B3S Biturbo) were a KW3 coilover, StopTech big brake kit and a set of Michelin Cup semi-slicks. The Akrapovic sounds nice but power-wise it's really negligble.

Now imagine ramping up the power on a B3 GT3 with catless downpipes and a more aggressive mapping (or even bigger turbos)...the lap times would go even a bit lower than in the sport auto supertest. Or taking a normal B3S Biturbo and equipping it with an Öhlins suspension, PFC brakes...which can be observed on the 'Ring as well.

For me the test is a great testament to the potential of the N54 and the E9x series - and another indicator that the M GmbH should have gone with an inline six biturbo engine from the start instead of going with the V8.

Audi R8 V10; sold: BMW 335i