Alpina Works its Magic Again: B3 Touring
The G20 3-Series launched as somewhat of a comeback car for BMW, promising to restore the "Ultimate Driving Machine" feel that has admittedly gone awry from the lineup. Has it worked? I honestly haven't had enough seat time with one to make an honest judgement. Aesthetically, however, BMW has seemingly injected a lot of inspiration from other brands into the G20. So much so that they seem to have gone to ridiculous lengths to assert BMW lineage with the Concept 4—the grilles have lost their mind.
Now I don't mean to outright say that outside brand injection is a bad thing, but I will retract by saying that lineage (and tangentially heritage) are things I always used to respect about BMW. The only other German marque that seems to have a firm grasp on innovation and heritage at the moment is Porsche, but I digress.
So back to that whole notion of heritage. Alpina has been somewhat of a special outfit for Bimmers for over three decades—a company that has outfitted standard BMWs with their own take on how they should look and drive. Their latest incarnation takes the G20's touring variant and creates what they call the "B3". And it's a stunner.
In light of this heritage discussion, Alpina has kept some instantly recognizable bits on the car—the familiar radial spoke wheels, blue and green interior accents, and subtle aero appointments at the front and rear. Oh and that green paint—how good does that look?
It's a car that isn't...fussy. You get a sense that a lot of modern cars are very much that—tempermental, overly stylized, and driving by technology rather than mechanics (maybe just like the people that are buying them). But this B3 oozes with something different, despite having all the technological tricks that the normal G20 has. Everything fits with the B3, like a well-tailored gentleman with the manners to boot. This personality is something that I've always respected from Alpina and it's what makes this my favorite (new) BMW of the moment.