But the new Alpina deserves more credit. It’s the pinnacle of its niche manufacturer’s range. They have taken BMW’s best - the stiff, brawny warrior and helped it relax. Rich Duisberg of Carfection takes their latest creation out for a spin.
Alpina might need some introduction. They are a tuner, and a longtime collaborator with BMW, often adding a little bit of zest and spice to BMW’s best. And if your memory serves you right, their first production was the Alpina A1, a development from the BMW E21 that inevitably went racing for 24 hours at the Nurburgring and Circuit de Spa, among others.
In 2013, they took a different approach, switching from race car manufacturing to starting a bespoke luxury line.
Far from their tuning roots, Alpina is now a vehicle manufacturer in their own right. Each of their vehicles comes with its own unique chassis number and is registered in Germany as a manufactured car, not a modified one.
The new Alpina B8 is a stone throw from its predecessors. There’s Lavalina leather, a fat rim steering wheel with two-tone stitching that Duisberg feels is absolutely beautiful.
But still, Alpina and BMW share a good relationship. Therefore, we can’t ignore the fact that the main ingredients come from BMW, even though the engine and suspension are a perfection of Alpina.
Sharing a genus with the 850i, it’s easy to feel the same rear-wheel steer setup that this car has, but the M8 doesn’t.
Under the hood, the Alpina B8 makes 600 BHP and 600 Nm of torque. It will do 0 to 60 mph (97 kph) in 3.3 seconds. Its efficiency levels are pretty impressive for a big car with a consumption of 27 miles per metric gallon (10.5 l/100 km.
There are quite a few differences compared to the BMW it’s derived from. It comes with a different set of turbos, exhaust, inlet manifold, suspension, dampers, wheels, front and rear bumpers.
What lies under the skin of the Alpina B8 is very different. It’s a highly composed and luxurious, but it’s not a sports car.