ALPINA Showcases Special Edition To Honour BMW South Africa’s 50th Year. BMW Group South Africa has spent 2023 celebrating its very special designation within the global BMW production network as the first BMW plant founded outside Germany 50 years ago. One highlight marking this milestone was the announcement in June 2023 of a R4.2 billion investment in the company’s Rosslyn plant, outside the capital Pretoria, to produce the next-generation BMW X3 plug-in hybrid from late 2024.
Another highlight of interest to petrolheads will undoubtedly be the five units of an extra-special ALPINA B3 AWD, built to commemorate the BMW Group South Africa milestone and bearing the company’s distinctive anniversary logo. The ALPINA B3 50 Years of BMW South Africa edition will only be made available in South Africa, and only in the signature ALPINA Green II metallic paint finish.
Much like the BMW South Africa and ALPINA collaboration of the mid-1980s that resulted in the iconic BMW 333i, of which just more than 200 units were built, the ALPINA B3 50 Years of BMW South Africa edition leans on a few stand-out details, such as its ALPINA CLASSIC 20-inch forged wheels.
Other exterior details include a variety of ALPINA decals such as silver ALPINA lettering on the front spoiler and the ALPINA B3 model designation. The celebratory touches, though, are reserved for the interior. Full leather Merino Black seats show the BMW Group South Africa 50 Years anniversary logo embroidered in the front seat headrests, while a plaque on the centre console declares each unit as one of five “50 Years an Icon, BMW South Africa” cars.
Typical ALPINA embellishments include ALPINA door sills and an ALPINA SWITCH-TRONIC sport leather steering wheel (with aluminium paddle shifter) bearing the LAVALINA design and hand-finished with bespoke stitching in white and ALPINA Green. Furthermore, the BMW ALPINA B3 AWD is fitted with a 3.0-litre, 6-cylinder inline engine featuring two ALPINA specific mono-scroll turbochargers that produces 364kW from 5,000 – 7,000 rpm and peak torque of 730 Nm from 2,500 – 4,500 rpm. Mated to an eight-speed Sport-Automatic transmission, it will cover the 0 – 100km/h sprint in 3.6 seconds before going on to a top speed of 305km/h.
To aid the special edition in dispensing the ultimate driving experience, ALPINA’s high-performance sport chassis and exhaust system, as well as its brake system with special heat-resistant brake pads and drilled disc brakes are employed. Other ALPINA details include sport suspension with variable damper control; four driving modes (Comfort+, Comfort, Sport and Sport+); specific springs, bump stops and stabilisers, and distinct calibrated variable sports steering.