It may sound a little weird to our American audience but there’s a market for performance diesel-powered vehicles in Europe. Automakers like BMW, Mercedes-Benz, and Audi keep producing large displacement diesel mills for some of their models, and Alpina, BMW’s in-house tuning firm, offers some of the fastest compression ignition models in the world. Among them is the XD3, which is a quad-turbo diesel SUV monster.

The speedy family vehicle was refreshed in the summer of 2021 and currently is one of the quickest accelerating diesel SUVs on the planet. Under the bonnet, there’s a 3.0-litre inline-six diesel engine with four turbochargers. Its peak output reaches 389 bhp (290 kilowatts) and 590 pound-feet (800 Newton-metres) of torque, channelled to all four wheels through an eight-speed automatic gearbox.

Gallery: 2022 Alpina XD3 And XD4

The XD3 – together with its coupe-SUV sibling XD4 – can hit 62 miles per hour (100 kilometres per hour) from a standstill in just 4.6 seconds. On paper, the top speed is 166 mph (267 kph). These are pretty impressive stats for a diesel-powered SUV – but can it actually achieve them in real-world conditions? Let’s find out.

Our friends and colleagues at AutoTopNL recently had the chance to drive an Alpina XD3 from the facelifted version of the model. Unfortunately, this isn’t an Autobahn top speed test, though we get to see the diesel SUV perform a 0-62 mph (0-100 kph) acceleration test with launch control. As far as we can tell, the machine actually achieves what the automaker promises – around 4.5 seconds to hit the 62-mph (100-kph) mark.

In case you don’t want an overly complicated diesel engine with four turbochargers, Alpina also sells the XD3 in Europe with a mild-hybrid diesel tech. It is based on the same 3.0-litre unit with two turbochargers and delivers a peak power of 350 bhp (261 kW) and 538 lb-ft (730 Nm) of torque. It is just slightly slower to 62 mph (100 kph) with a time of 4.9 seconds.