March 23, 2009 450 Nm ( 332 lbs-ft) of torque was once considered V8 territory, which just goes to show how times change. The BMW ALPINA D3 makes 450 Nm from a 2.0-litre, four-cylinder, turbo-charged diesel engine. The D supposedly stands for diesel, but could equally stand for Drehmoment, German for torque – just off idle, at 1500 rpm, the little monster is already producing an impressive 400 Nm of torque thanks to the smaller of its twin turbos already bringing serious induction pressure to bear, and while the car is capable of 152 mph and 0-100 km/h in 6.9 secs, the official fuel consumption and emission figures tell a very different story: 52.3 mpg (overall EU) and 143 g/km (manual gearbox version).

It's all achieved with two differently-sized exhaust-driven turbo-chargers and a high-pressure, 2000 bar Bosch-Common Rail system using Piezo injectors. From about 3,000 rpm onward, the second, larger turbo-charger, is fully on line and drives the engine to its peak performance of 211 bhp (157 kW) – see chart in image library;_cache=1&L=0 Sadly, the Alpina is not available in every country but with this type of economy and perfromance, we expect the marque to go from strength to strength as the thunking man's performance car.