Our cars: BMW Alpina D3 Biturbo - July
Week ending July 29
Miles this week 300
Okay, I’m officially irritated and a bit confused, and I don’t think I’m just being a techno-dud. I’m a fan of Radio 5 Live, which means listening to AM. However, if I switch off the Alpina’s ignition at the end of a drive without switching off the radio first, more often than not the tuner loses the station it was set to. When I start the car the next day all I get is static, and I have to press the appropriate preset button again to get back to the station I was listening to. This only happens on AM frequency and has happened since day one. I’ve scoured the handbook and I’m sure I’m not missing any obscure setting. It isn’t a serious-enough issue to warrant a trip to a dealer, but if anyone has a miracle cure I’d be grateful if they could let me know.
Week ending July 22
Miles this week 900
It was holiday time this week, for myself, my wife, and the Alpina. Packing was simple, because the boot took most of our stuff with ease; there was little need to put things on the back seat. After a silky ferry crossing to Caen with Brittany Ferries (www.brittanyferries.co.uk), the Alpina dispatched French autoroutes and tiny backroads with ease on the way to our remote destination. It was exactly the same on the trip back, although the choppy water in the channel meant it got covered in salt because it was at the very end of the car deck on the ferry. Still, it did the whole holiday at an average of 42mpg, which isn’t bad.
Week ending July 15
Miles this week 200
Due to various circumstances (one of which you can see in the weekly update on our long-term Range Rover) I haven’t actually driven the Alpina very much this week. However, we finished putting the latest issue of the magazine to bed last night, and it was with great relief that I crawled into the D3’s driving seat at an ungodly hour of the evening with a 90-mile drive home ahead.
Immediately, the weariness lifted. I realised I’d really missed the D3. It burbled through urban streets, took the M25 and M40 in its stride, and came alive on the B-roads near my home. I arrived home feeling much more awake and alert than when I’d left. Brilliant.
Week ending July 8
Miles this week 800
Last weekend, road tester Ivan Aistrop spent his time flitting between numerous social engagements in the Alpina, and each and every time he rocked up, somebody would greet him by saying: 'Hey, nice Beemer. '
Now, being a stickler for accuracy, he politely pointed out that it was, in fact, an Alpina. The problem was that every time he imparted this revelation, he had to follow it up with a 10-minute explanation of what Alpina is and how its cars differ from BMW’s.
Ivan will happily talk about cars for hours on end, but having the same conversation over and over again became a bit tiresome by the end of the weekend. By the end, when the inevitable greeting occurred, he replied simply with: 'Thanks very much'.