In short, it produces petrol and/or diesel versions of the BMW 3, 4, 5 and 8 series as well as the X3, X4 and X7. Until recently, that list included the 7 Series, but… well. That’s life, eh?
Gasoline powered cars get the prefix “B” because Benzin is Deutsche’s petrol and the diesel prefix is ”D” . For diesel, you see. Because Rudolf Diesel, the inventor of the compression ignition engine, was German.
But we hardly discuss loanwords here. If we were, we would wonder why almost every country in the world calls pineapples “pineapples,” while we insist that a fruit that bears no resemblance to an apple grows on a tree that bears no resemblance to a pine, is somehow a pineapple.
With prefixes (and increasingly ADHD narrations) sorted out, we can move on to suffixes. And, Alpina keeps things simple: the B3 is Alpina’s gasoline 3-series, while the D5 is a diesel-powered Alpina based on the 5-series. That wasn’t always the case — take the late ’70s B7 Turbo, which was based on the 6-Series Coupe — but it’s now a fairly simple model.
Speaking of – these days, diesel versions have a little ‘s’ suffix, probably to make up for the fact that you choose diesel. You should also note that when referring to builds based on BMW’s “off-road” (lol!) range, Alpina uses X first, then fuel type, then the number suffix for the relevant SUV monster, and finally the likes of XD3 and XB7 . With any luck, you won’t get one. Alpina is great, but even the greatest polish won’t save a tur…