It may sound a little strange to our American audience, but in Europe there is a market for powerful diesel powered vehicles. Automakers like BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Audi continue to produce large-displacement diesel grinders for some of their models, and Alpina, BMW’s in-house tuning company, offers some of the world’s fastest compression-ignition models. Among them is the XD3, a quad-turbo diesel SUV monster.
The fleet family vehicle was updated in summer 2021 and is currently one of the fastest accelerating diesel SUVs in the world. Under the hood is a 3.0-liter, four-turbocharged, straight-six diesel engine. Its peak power is 389 horsepower (290 kilowatts) and 590 pound-feet (800 Newton-meters) of torque, sent to all four wheels through an eight-speed automatic transmission.
The XD3 – along with its coupe SUV brother XD4 – can hit 62 miles per hour (100 kilometers per hour) from a standstill in just 4.6 seconds. On paper, the top speed is 166 mph (267 km/h). Those are pretty impressive numbers for a diesel SUV – but can it match them in real-world conditions? Let’s find out.
Our friends and colleagues at AutoTopNL recently had the chance to drive one Alpine XD3 from the facelift version of the model. Unfortunately, this isn’t a freeway top speed test, although we can see the diesel SUV performing a 0-62 mph (0-100 km/h) acceleration test with Launch Control. As far as we can tell, the machine actually does what the automaker promises – around 4.5 seconds to hit the 62 mph (100 km/h) mark.
If you don’t want an overly complicated four-turbocharger diesel engine, Alpina also sells the XD3 in Europe with mild-hybrid diesel technology. Based on the same 3.0-liter, twin-turbocharged unit, it delivers a peak power of 350 hp (261 kW) and 538 lb-ft (730 Nm) of torque. It’s only slightly slower to 62 mph (100 km/h) with a time of 4.9 seconds.