Alpina Could Release Special 50th Anniversary Models Next Year

BMW’s centenary is coming up fast, 2016 starting to shape up as a really good year for the German company. However, they’re not the only ones that will be celebrating an important anniversary in the following months.
Alpina B6 xDrive Gran Coupe 1 photo
Photo: Alpina
Alpina, the world-famous BMW tuner will be celebrating half of the age of the German manufacturer, 5 decades of racing DNA and luxurious, ultra-powerful rides.

The occasion won't pass by without being properly celebrated and it seems like the engineers from Buchloe, Bavaria are working on some special, anniversary models. Furthermore, the new cars and the most successful ones from the past will be presented around the world to various auto shows.

The company became a BMW tuner in 1965, even though its name existed before that but its main purpose was making typewriters. After its founder, Burkhard Bovensiepen had some bad experience with investments in the stock markets, he decided to start tuning BMWs.

The first car they ever did was done in a building of the old typewriter factory and it had improved carburetors and cylinder heads and it was good enough to spur the company on.

By 1970, they already had 70 people working on BMWs, some of which were even competing in the various European racing events. It became a standalone manufacturer in 1983, getting the TUV approval and its own VIN numbers, transforming the company into a separate entity from BMW.

Their cars, even though they have different VIN numbers, are still largely based on BMWs, they can be serviced and they are sold through the Bavarian company’s dealerships.
Over the years, the Alpina line-up grew in size and specs alongside BMW’s products, moving from petrol-exclusive models to diesels and even SUVs in recent years, the current line-up including the first ever such car in the brand’s history, the XD3 model, based on the X3.

The figures of the cars they make often rival those of the M division. However, according to both BMW and Alpina, the two are not rivaling.

While true M cars aim to provide a racing feel, having a stiffer suspension, manual transmissions and a focus on lightweight construction, Alpina’s cars are focused on luxury and comfort. They have plenty of grunt and even come as all-wheel-drive models but they are not meant for the track.

In today’s line-up, we can even find cars faster than their M counterparts. The B6 Gran Coupe xDrive, for example, is based on the 650i Gran Coupe BMW and is faster than its M6 Gran Coupe brother.

While the latter has a 560 HP and 680 Nm (501 lb-ft) of torque engine under the bonnet, its rear-wheel-drive platform makes it slower than the B6 xDrive model that has 540 HP and 730 Nm (538 lb-ft) of torque by 0.3 seconds (3.9 vs 4.2).

At the same time, the Alpina alternative is heavier and considerably more comfortable, despite offering such mind-blowing acceleration numbers.

However, such a bend of performance and luxury comes at a price and Alpina models are known for being some of the most expensive on the market. Even so, the company manages to sell around 1,500 units a year, most of them heading to... Japan!

That’s right, more than a quarter of the yearly production makes it to the Asian country, the rest of the cars being mainly distributed in Germany, the US, Belgium, Switzerland and the UK.
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