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2017 Alpina B3, B4 and B7 offered optional mechanical LSD

Alpina Automobiles Australia is offering customers of its recently-introduced range of performance-enhanced BMWs the opportunity to upgrade their final drive with a mechanical limited-slip differential (LSD).

The new diff was developed specifically for Alpina’s range of B3, B4 and B7 models by high-performance transmission specialist Drexler Motorsport and is on offer for $5130 including GST and installation at an approved BMW service centre.

Alpina says customers who upgrade can expect improved traction during enthusiastic driving and minimised tyre slip, as well as easier vehicle control when the limit is found and “excellent directional stability."

Like each product from the German precision engineering company, the Drexler LSD is hand-built to motorsport standards using forged gears and a CNC machined housing.

Unlike more recent electronically controlled differentials and torque-vectoring systems, the mechanical LSD uses a multi-clutch pack to sense torque and direct power to the wheel with most grip.

The more traditional approach is often favoured by purists and driving enthusiasts for its more bread-and-butter operation and unique handling characteristics.

Existing switchable driving modes and other variable systems such as suspension and engine operation are unaltered, and the Drexler diff works independently and without electronic control.

Alpina vehicles were introduced to Australia in November last year.

In Europe, Alpina reports that approximately 20 per cent of its customers option their car with the LSD upgrade but in Australia’s performance-hungry automotive landscape, the local outfit predicts the demand to be higher.

The unit can be specified at the time of ordering an Alpina vehicle or retrofitted in the case of customers who have already taken delivery of their car.

Alpina vehicles were introduced to Australia in November last year and are distributed by the In Motion Group through Doncaster BMW’s dealership network in Victoria.

The range extends to a B3 sedan and Touring based on the BMW 3 Series, a 4 Series based B4 coupe and the upcoming B7 flagship, which starts life as a 7 Series.

Drexler has been providing high-quality transmission components to the automotive industry for 30 years and specialises in limited-slip differentials, with previous involvement in both motorsport and road-car projects.

Is a mechanical LSD the only option for true petrolheads? Tell us what you think in the comments below.