This may sound a little strange to our American audience, but there is a market for high-performance diesel-powered vehicles in Europe. Automakers such as BMW, Mercedes-Benz, and Audi continue to produce high-displacement diesel mills 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 which is a monster quad-turbo diesel SUV.
The fast family vehicle was refreshed in the summer of 2021 and is currently one of the fastest accelerating diesel SUVs on the planet. Under the hood, there is a 3.0-liter inline six-cylinder diesel engine with four turbochargers. Peak output is up to 389 horsepower (290 kilowatts) and 590 pound-feet (800 Newton-meters) of torque, sent to all four wheels via an eight-speed automatic gearbox.
The XD3 – along with its coupe-SUV sister XD4 – can reach 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 kph). Those are pretty impressive stats for a diesel-powered SUV – but can it actually achieve them in real-world conditions? Let’s find out.
Our friends and colleagues at AutoTopNL recently had the opportunity to drive an Alpina XD3 from a facelifted model. Unfortunately, this wasn’t the Autobahn’s top speed test, although we did get to see the diesel SUV test the 0-62 mph (0-100 kph) acceleration with launch control. As far as we can tell, the engine actually achieves what the automaker promises – around 4.5 seconds to reach the 62-mph (100-kph) mark.
If you don’t want an overly complicated diesel engine with four turbochargers, Alpina also sells the XD3 in Europe with mild diesel hybrid technology. It is based on the same 3.0-liter unit with two turbochargers and produces 350 hp (261 kW) of peak power and 538 lb-ft (730 Nm of torque). Only slightly slower to 62 mph (100 kph) with a time of 4.9 seconds.