The Alpina B3 is a high-performance saloon that received the M3's "S58" engine even before BMW launched its own car. It's a classy alternative to the Bavarian sports saloon by doing away with the hugely controversial kidney grille. You can think of it as a gran tourer variant of the M3 since it's a bit softer to deliver a more relaxed drive.

Much like the M3, the B3 has spawned its fair share of special editions. The latest comes from South Africa and marks 50 years since BMW set up shop in the country. Painted in the iconic Alpina Green II colour, the desirable saloon also has Alpina's elegant 20-inch multi-spoke wheels. It gets "Alpina" lettering on the front spoiler and retro-flavoured side decals that take us back to the 1980s.

Alpina B3 50 Years of BMW South Africa Edition

Open the doors and you'll be greeted with Alpina-branded sills and a special plaque on the centre console to denote the car's exclusivity. Only five are being made, and all will have the black leather interior with a special BMW Group South Africa 50 Years anniversary logo on the headrests. There's also a combination of white and green stitching, along with a leather-wrapped steering wheel featuring Alpina’s logo depicting a single throttle and crankshaft.

Exclusive to South Africa, the special edition is based on the more powerful B3 facelift introduced in 2022. The twin-turbo 3.0-litre inline-six engine produces 488 bhp and a massive 730 Nm (538 lb-ft) of torque routed to both axles via an eight-speed automatic transmission. It needs 3.6 seconds to reach 62 mph (100 km/h) and tops out at 190 mph (305 km/h).

Recognised by the German Federal Ministry of Transport as a car manufacturer since 1983, Alpina also gives this B3 a sports suspension with variable damping. In addition, the engineers from Buchloe install upgraded brakes with drilled discs and heat-resistant brake pads. Chassis and steering tuning are also included, as is a quad exhaust system and the choice between four driving modes: Comfort+, Comfort, Sport, and Sport+.

Known by its full name as the (takes deep breath) BMW Alpina B3 50 Years of BMW South Africa Edition, the sports saloon is already sold out. That's despite an exorbitant price tag of R 2,960,341.20, which works out to about £127,500 at current exchange rates. That's a lot of money when you consider the hardcore M3 CS retails for "just" £82,450 in the United Kingdom.