2011 Tokyo Motor Show: Alpina B3 GT3 takes the Bmw 3-Series Coupe to another level

Article by Christian A., on November 30, 2011

German tuner Alpina has created the B3 GT3, a racer for the road that’s set to make its world debut at the 2011 Tokyo Motor Show. This vehicle, with a price tag of EUR90,000 ($120,000), has a limited run with only 99 units to be produced. It’s apparent that Alpina wants to attract fans of the new BMW 3-Series.

The B3 GT3 is based on the E92 BMW 3-Series Coupe. It is equipped with an engine that evolved from the 3.0-liter twin-turbo straight six of the Alpina B3 S Bi-Turbo.

It has been given a new exhaust system that features an Akrapovic titanium rear silencer, which gives the engine 8hp more. The unit now produces 408 hp at 6,000 rpm and 540 Nm (398 lb-ft) at 4,500 rpm. The Alpina B3 GT3 could accelerate from zero to 62mph in just 4.6 seconds and it could reach a top speed of 300 km/h (187 mph).

To manage the vehicle and keep it under control, it comes with an adjustable sports suspension, several 19-inch lightweight forged wheels, and a braking system that has been enhanced. It was subjected to several aerodynamic modifications and its interior has gotten a couple of Recaro bucket seats and a new sports steering wheel that has an Alcantara finish.

By implementing an optimum design and then combining with the different aerodynamic components, it ensures that the lift of the B3 GT3 is dialed out entirely. It is easy to say then that this will be the first road version of the BMW Alpina to show actual downforce not only on the front end but even for the rear. This downforce, aside from being equipped with innovative suspension technology and spirited drivetrain, is one of the reasons why the B6 GT3 has managed to match its rivals in the ADAC GT Masters. For those familiar, downforce plays an important role when it comes to attaining fast lap times.

The B3 GT3 special edition is fitted with various aerodynamic features, most of which were taken from the knowledge gained during motor racing. Still on this particular feature, what happens is that the carbon splitter on the front has been mounted on the front spoiler’s underside and then combined with the dive plates, which have been mounted on the side of the vehicle’s front valence.

The overall result is that the front end is able to experience amazing aerodynamic properties. In order to make sure that this aerodynamic attribute is balanced, on the rear there is a carbon wing mounted. What happens is that the rear wing helps lower the lift at the rear end but ensures that the drag coefficient is not affected. Helping improve the efficiency of the aerodynamics for the rear is the black matt rear diffusor.

As already mentioned, one of the reasons why the B6 GT3 has managed to attain a number of victories in different racing circuits is the coilover suspension technology. This is true even if different races require different set-ups as well. Generally, how the suspension and the chassis has been configured ensure that there is an increase in performance while lateral grip is retained at exceptional levels.

Similar to the B6 GT3, the understeer and oversteer of the B3 GT3 can be changed depending on the personal preference of the driver by simply adjusting its camber which is at its front. The use of the suspension for the new B3 GT3 is a good example of what is known as direct transfer of technology as it is moved from the racetrack and onto the street.

This means that there was a need to adjust the suspension and there are various requirements as well as the necessity for balancing and fine-tuning in order to meet any customization needs. Since the height of the coilovers can be adjusted, it meant that the ride height of the B3 GT3 itself can be changed as well. Then there are the dampers which allow for 18-fold rebound adjustment and have a 12-fold compression.

To make sure that normal driving is comfortable but dynamic, there is a need to ensure that the range of adjustment must be calibrated carefully. However it also allows for adjustments to its amplitude in order to get a set-up that is completely track-focused. So that the basic components of the suspension, like the stabilizers and springs, of the B3 GT3 would be able to adapt to the dynamic focus, Alpina made sure that it had to be specifically calibrated.

There was a need to have a firm connection when it comes to the chassis so that the front end had special top mounts on them with top mount plates that could be adjusted. With all of these different features, it is no wonder then that the B3 GT3 is able to meet the expectations one would have from Alpina considering the poise it displays and the excellent neutral handling.

Press Release

Alpina BMW B6 GT3

Alpina's recent return to international motor sport peaked this year, with the drivers Alexandros Margaritis and Dino Lunardi winning the German GT Series, the 2011 ADAC GT Masters Championship, in the Alpina BMW B6 GT3.

With this achievement Alpina purposefully demonstrates that despite a long absence from motor sports, cutting edge automotive know-how and technical expertise continues to be the foundation for the development of exclusive BMW Alpina automobiles.

Ideal circumstances to re-kindle the long-standing Alpina tradition of creating ultra small series limited editions.

The Alpina BMW B3 GT3 combines exceptional characteristics and technical features of the Alpina BMW B6 GT3 race car with classic design elements of iconic Alpina automobiles of the past - to the delight of Alpina customers and enthusiasts worldwide.

Strictly limited to 99 cars, the Alpina BMW B3 GT3 will be available from spring 2012 at a price of approx. € 90.000,- including 19% VAT (German specification, ex-works Buchloe).

The exceptionally smooth twin turbocharged 3.0liter in line six-cylinder engine from the Alpina B3 S Bi-Turbo - with its massive torque and effortless performance - is also employed in the B3 GT3. By amending the exhaust system and replacing the rear silencer the back pressure has been further reduced, increasing output in the B3 GT3 by 8hp. The direct petrol injected engine now delivers a total power output of 408hp at 6000rpm and 540Nm of torque at 4500rpm.

Titanium rear silencer and tailpipes, lightweight made by Akrapovic

Developed in collaboration with Akrapovic, the renowned specialist for Titanium exhaust systems, the B3 GT3 exhaust system is lightweight, impressive yet elegant in appearance and, in keeping with the character of the car, has a raspy sound. The use of Titanium for the rear silencer and tailpipes, in addition to other constructional design measures such as the removal of the middle silencer, the use of an x-section and significantly larger diameter pipes, has resulted not only in a reduction in back pressure but also a weight saving of 11kg.

Taking design cues from the B6 GT3 race car and in order to support weight reduction efforts, the exhaust system 'only' has two typically Alpina oval shaped tailpipes but of increased diameter (115mm). In addition to its heat protective function, the lightweight carbon tailpipe trim provides for a more aggressive design. Extensive sound development measures where aimed at achieving a natural, unfiltered and typical six cylinder sound.

High performance fixed calliper brake system

Besides exceptional acceleration, in 4.6s from 0-100km/h, and a fulminant power delivery, negative acceleration also plays a pivotal role in satisfying the demands of enthusiast drivers.

The B3 GT3 features a high performance motor sport brake set-up with 6-piston fixed callipers at the front and 4-piston fixed calliper at the rear, with discs measuring 380 x 35 mm at the front and 355 x 32 mm at the rear. The brake callipers are painted in blue with discrete Alpina writing in silver.

Overall, the brakes are designed for high stress and load under forced conditions and are characterised by excellent fading resistance, good modulation (control) and response - without sacrificing comfort and practicality.

Alpina GT3 CLASSIC 19" lightweight alloy wheels, forged

Anyone mentions the name Alpina, most people inevitably think of the famous Alpina CLASSIC light alloy wheels, their closely guarded trademark design significantly shaping the appearance of almost all BMW Alpina automobiles since the beginning. It is only logical then, that the new and exclusively for the B3 GT3 available lightweight forged alloy wheels also carry the CLASSIC design. Forged aluminium alloy exhibits much higher stiffness and strength characteristics compared to conventional cast aluminium alloy, translating into a significant weight reduction and more design freedom. The design of the 19" lightweight forged alloy wheels, which are painted in Himalaya Grey, has been inspired by the B6 GT3 race car. The 20 spokes are particularly fine and 'clean', giving the wheel a minimalist technical and timeless appearance. The new wheels, which are 25% lighter, result in a further weight reduction of 10kg, despite increasing half-an-inch in width to of 8.5 x 19" front and 9.5 x 19" rear (front: 8.6kg, rear: 9.5kg).

Race-bred coilover sports suspension, perfectly balanced

The coilover suspension technology in the B6 GT3 played a central role in achieving success at widely varying race circuits, which all required very different set-ups.

The direct transfer of this technology 'from the track to the street' allows for far reaching adjustment of the suspension on the B3 GT3 according to widely different requirements, and for fine-tuning and balancing the handling according to personal preference. The coilovers are fully height adjustable, meaning the ride height of the vehicle can be changed significantly. Additionally the dampers feature a 12-fold compression and 18-fold rebound adjustment. The range of adjustment has been carefully calibrated to allow for a dynamic yet sufficiently comfortable road-biased set-up for normal driving while simultaneously offering an amplitude of adjustment for also achieving a purely track-focussed race set-up.

Fundamental suspension components including the springs and stabilisers have been specifically calibrated by Alpina to suit the dynamic focus of the B3 GT3. Special top mounts with adjustable top mount plates at the front ensure an especially stiff connection to the chassis. Combined, all these components ensure that the B3 GT3 exhibits the kind of poised and extremely neutral handling which one expects from Alpina.

The overall chassis and suspension set-up translates into a real performance increase and exceptional levels of lateral grip. If necessary over and understeer can also be influenced according to personal preference by means of adjusting the camber at the front, just like on the B6 GT3 race car.

Sophisticated aerodynamics

Besides its competitive drivetrain and suspension technology, the B6 GT3 race car managed to more than hold its own in the ADAC GT Masters thanks to its exceptional aerodynamics - downforce playing a vital role in achieving fast lap times. The B3 GT3 special edition exhibits a number of aerodynamic features which have been directly derived from the experience gained in motor racing.

The combination of a carbon front splitter, which is mounted on the underside of the front spoiler, and dive plates, which are mounted on the side of the front valence, ensures excellent aerodynamic properties at the front end. To achieve an ideal aerodynamic balance a carbon wing is mounted at the rear. The profile of the rear wing is such, that it reduces lift at the rear significantly without negatively effecting the drag coefficient. The rear diffusor, in black matt, also plays a part in ensuring that the aerodynamic efficiency at the rear end is improved.

In summary, the optimum design and combination of these components means that lift has been completely dialled out, the B3 GT3 is the first roadgoing BMW Alpina automobile to exhibit actual downforce at the front and rear.

GT3 Cup wheel and tyre set

For everyday use, the B3 GT3 comes equipped with MICHELIN Pilot Sport 2 tyres as standard. For the race track, an optional GT3 Cup wheel and tyre set, consisting of a set of Alpina GT3 CLASSIC 19" lightweight alloy wheels, forged, with MICHELIN Pilot Sport Cup+ tyres is available. The Cup tyres deliver excellent performance on the track in dry conditions and at an optimum tyre operating temperature range from 50°C to 90 °C. Despite being road legal, these tyres are not recommended for everyday use because public roads do not offer the suitable conditions for achieving the optimum tyre operating temperatures. Furthermore, these tyres have very little negative profile, necessitating super careful driving in damp and wet road conditions (aquaplaning).

Interior, tradition meets Sport

All B3 GT3's feature a Leather/Alcantara interior upholstery in black, both driver and passenger are seated in lightweight Recaro sport seats with seat heating. Ergonomically shaped and with a firm seat cushion, they deliver excellent comfort in combination with optimum lateral support. The seats can be adjusted in height by about 30mm via their mounting points and feature manual back and horizontal adjustment.

A special highlight for Alpina enthusiasts: vertical stripes designed in Alpina racing colours are integrated into the front and rear seats. The sports steering wheel with paddles is finished in grippy Alcantara, hand finished with Blue/Green stitching.

Limited 99

Limited to 99 units worldwide, the B3 GT3 features a comprehensive and carefully selected standard equipment level, in line with its sporting character.

For customers wishing to have a built-in navigation system, B3 GT3 is available with an optional Comfort Package, which includes BMW Professional Multimedia Navigation System and BMW Park Distance Control (PDC). Other BMW options are not available. The B3 GT3 is available as standard in Black Sapphire metallic and Mineral White metallic or optionally in special paintwork Alpina Blue matt metallic. The interior trim is carried out in Alcantara black with Alpina writing (embossed).

Unique and exclusive, the B3 GT3 is optionally available with a full body vinyl wrap in the official B6 GT3 race car design (green/blue/silver), including interior trim in green lacquer. All cars are equipped with a rear axle with a Drexler limited slip differential, similar to the B6 GT3 race car. Every B3 GT3 is labelled with a specially designed production plaque in the interior.

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