This 1993 Alpina B3 3.0 (chassis E300016) was first registered in September of its model year, and seems to have resided mostly in Japan until recently. A 5-speed in LHD, the car wears an Alpina plaque on the dash identifying it as the 16th of 339 sedans built. The digital odometer is said to display the metric equivalent of 65k miles, which has been independently verified. With around 250 hp on tap from a reworked M50B25TU straight-six, performance potential should be very similar to a comparable E36 M3/4/5 (M3, four-door, 5-speed), albeit in a more exclusive package.
Although quite early, at least in terms of US-market availability for the E36, the B3 3.0 was actually the second Alpina model based on the platform, with the rarer B6 2.8 having come before, and production reaching 220 units between March of 1992 and June of 1993. Nonetheless, this 1993 B3 3.0 was still made years before the platform facelift of 1996, and has a number of easily noticeable early-model qualities about it. Based on the production 325i sedan, modifications included an Alpina-specific aero kit made up of a low-slung air dam, along with side skirts and a small trunk lid-mounted spoiler.
Much of the running gear, wheels and suspension were carried over from the B6 2.8, and included Bilstein dampers and 17″ Alpina multi-spoke wheels wrapped in significantly upsized 235- and 265-section tires front and rear, respectively. Brakes also used larger ventilated rotors up front, but this example appears to be fitted with a big brake kit. Badging and the model designation remain in place on the rear, and the color is listed as Diamond Black (Diamantschwarz) with gold Alpina graphics. Mirrors are aero items that resemble the type worn by the M3.
Inside, Alpina-fitted wood trim is found on the center console and door panels, while gauges wear the company’s signature blue on their faces. The steering wheel was updated from the B6 2.8 to the B3 3.0, but keen eyes will notice that this early E36 is devoid of airbags for either front passenger. Alpina cloth upholstery still shows well.
Up front lives the three-liter version of BMW’s M50B25TU 24-valve straight six which features VANOS variable cam timing on the intake side. Original output for this engine was 190 horsepower at 5900 rpm with 184 lb. ft. of torque at 4200, figures that were improved significantly to 250 and 236 (respectively) through increasing displacement, fitting Mahle pistons, performance camshafts and Alpina’s own exhaust system. This one has a few visible modifications in place, such as silicone cooling hoses and a strut brace of some kind, but the wide-runner intake manifold appears to be the factory unit. Maintenance records are included.
Performance was quite respectable for the era with a zero to 100 km/h (62 mph) time of 6.4 seconds and top speed of 164 mph. Interestingly enough, the B3 3.0 was several thousand Deutschmarks less expensive than the B6 2.8 that it replaced, which meant it also undercut the M3 which was just hitting the streets exclusively in coupe form around the time this example sold new.