The Craziest Alpina Cars
Alpina’s knack for tweaking BMWs has its roots in the early 1960s, when Burkard Bovensiepen wanted to make his BMW 1500 go faster and developed a Weber dual carburettor system. Since then, Alpina’s road to tuning excellence took the trajectory of a steady upward curve sprinkled with rad builds that didn’t just offer more power or more torque, but a complete package of tweaks that complemented the extra oomph. We’ll be looking at some of them in the following lines.
The Alpina Story - From Typewriters to BMWs
The story of Alpina began in 1962, when a young engineering student named Burkard Bovensiepen mounted a Weber dual carburettor to his BMW 1500. The carburettor system was manufactured in Burkard father’s precision component factory and the way it changed the performance of the 1500 caught a lot of attention from a lot of people. The rest, as they say, is history.
2020 Alpina B3 Saloon
Where do you go when you want a car that looks like a BMW and still is a BMW deep inside, but sports subtle design tweaks, boosted powerplants, and new badges without looking over the top and rather elegant instead? Well, if you’re thinking Alpina, then you’re absolutely right. The firm calls itself a manufacturer because it does not offer aftermarket kits, tuning chips, of mods, but instead, it delivers BMW-based models that have been tweaked from the ground up. Alpina’s latest product, the B3 saloon, just took the stage in Tokyo, so why don’t we get to learn what’s it all about?
2018 Alpina B5 Touring
It wasn’t all that long ago that we heard rumors about a BMW M5 Wagon being in the works, but so far we have yet to see an official example. But, not all is lost, as sneaky cameramen have managed to catch what we believe to be the Alpina B5 Touring putting in some beautiful work on the Nürburgring. For now, the Audi RS6 Avant and the AMG E63 Wagon have been dominating this specific segment, but this B5 Touring mule tells us that an M5 Touring is certainly on its way. For those of you who haven’t been keeping track, BMW hasn’t had an M5 Touring since the E61 Touring that was produced from 2007 to 2010, and even then it never made it to the U.S.
According to our camera crew, the B5 Touring you see here was actually making some rather quick laps on the ‘Ring, but that doesn’t mean it will get to us any quicker. It would be blasphemy for Alpina to drop the B5 Touring before the BMW-branded M5 hit the streets. The M5 should be revealed around this time next year, so you can expect the Alpina B5 and D5 – it’s diesel-drinking, torque-producing cousin – to be officially revealed sometime after that.
So, with that said, let’s take a good look at the spy shots we have here today and talk a little more about the Alpina B5 Touring.
Continue reading to learn more about the Alpina B5 Touring.
It’s easy to look at any Alpina model and say “That’s just a tuned up BMW.” In one way, you’re right – Vehicles like the Alpina B5 are built on the same chassis as the BMW 5 Series, but there is a lot more to an Alpina than the DNA it shares with its BMW counterpart.
Alpina cars start off being built by BMW, but while BMW is putting together the chassis and body, Alpina is at work hand-building engines. Once BMW receives the hand-built powerplants, they are installed, and the cars are shipped back to Alpina to be completed. In all, each Alpina is equally built by both BMW and Alpina, which is why Alpina is considered a car manufacturer instead of just another tuning firm.
Now that we’ve made our way into the 2016 model year, Alpina has released its newest B5 Biturbo. It comes in two trims – Saloon, which is a four-door sedan, and Touring, which is a wagon. As the company puts it, the Alpina drive experience is unique, best characterized by “effortlessness and powerful confidence.” If you’ve ever gotten the chance to sit behind the wheel of one, you would probably agree. Even if you haven’t, keep reading to find out more about the 2016 Alpina B5.
Continue reading to learn more about the 2016 BMW Alpina B5 Biturbo.
Until BMW musters up the courage to introduce the M7, enthusiasts will have to keep looking to Alpina if they want a sporty version of the 7 Series. In the case of the new 2016 BMW 7 Series, it doesn’t look like they’ll have to wait very long. New spy shots seem to show BMW testing the 2016 Alpina B7, and while details are non-existent, it’s a welcome sign that this sport-tuned version is being tested so soon after the sixth-gen 7 Series was released just last month.
Like the U.S.-bound 2016 7 Series, this B7 was spotted in the long-wheelbase configuration, and it would seem that this powerful offering could be ready soon after this fall’s launch of the standard 7 Series lineup. From the rumors that are starting to swirl about this latest Alpina-tuned BMW, this is going to be one impressive way to mark 50 years of Alpina performance cars.
Continue reading to learn more about the 2016 Alpina B7.
Alpina is celebrating 50 years of modifying BMWs in 2015 and has just released a 10-minute video that showcases some of the brand’s most important moments. From the car that started it all, the 1500 model BMW launched at the 1961 Frankfurt Motor Show, to the latest range of Alpina-badged cars, company founder Burkard Bovensiepen talks about what made Alpina one of the most celebrated BMW tuners in the world.
Alpina also invited two of the drivers that helped the brand achieve important victories on the race track: Niki Lauda and Hans Stuck. While Lauda remembers how Bovensiepen asked him to pull his Alpina into the pit lane to have it cleaned before it crossed the finish line at Nurburgring, Stuck shares some of the pranks he pulled on Alpina’s head honcho.
The video also includes insight on how Burkard founded the company back in the day. Interesting facts here include that the Alpina name is related to the fact that the initial shop was located near the Alps and that the name was originally can be traced to Bovensiepen’s father, whose company produced office machinery. Yup, Alpina built typewriters long before it modified its first BMW 1500.
But you can find out more on that and other interesting stories about Alpina in the footage above. Hit the play button for 50 years of Alpina history squeezed into just 10 minutes. If you don’t speak German you’ll have to read the captions, but it’s worth it!
Half a century ago, Alpina was founded in the German city of Kaufbeuren. Originally a producer of typewriters, the company transitioned into the infinitely more interesting business of making fast BMWs, tweaking carburetors and cylinder heads instead of stringing ink ribbons. In the years that followed, Alpina would produce more than a few successful race cars, eventually moving on to concentrate primarily on street cars in the late ’80s.
To help celebrate its long history of hotrod Bimmers, Alpina has introduced the B6 Bi-Turbo Edition 50. Based on the BMW 6 Series coupe and convertible, Alpina laid its hands on just about every aspect of the stock car, with upgrades applied to the exterior styling, interior equipment, and of course, all those mechanical bits under the skin.
Only 50 examples will be built. As a showcase of Alpina’s tuning prowess, the B6 Edition 50 is sure to provide more than a few incentives for those looking for a Bavarian rocket ship that still comes with an original factory warranty.
Continue reading to learn more about the Alpina B6 Bi-Turbo Edition 50.
Imagine James Bond had a long-lost brother. The two started out with the same genes, had many of the same habits — but instead of a devil-may-care ladies’ man and secret agent, Brother Bond got his kicks playing the stock market and taking his socialite wife to drink wine at dinner parties. That’s Alpina. It’s M Sport’s more civilized brother. But don’t let the day job fool you — beneath Alpina’s respectable business jacket hides a weapon to make 007 swoon.
Like Mr. Bond, the Alpina B5 Edition 50 started out with pretty good DNA, in the form of a 550i sedan chassis. At the BMW factory, they install an engine built by Alpina, and then ship the car back to them to install the finishing touches. The result is a car built equally by both manufacturers, but wears the Alpina badge. That badge lays atop a car wholly distinct from its sibling in terms of character — but don’t take that to mean there isn’t some deadly rivalry involved.
These are the Bond twins we’re talking about here.
Continue reading to learn more about the Alpina B5 Bi-Turbo "Edition 50".
Back in the 1980s, the German luxury car scene was still taking shape, and M and AMG hadn’t quite gained their footing with retail customers yet. That said, BMW tuner extraordinaire, Alpina, which is actually registered as an official automaker in Germany, was in full swing modifying Bimmers and selling them under its own nameplate. One said machine was the 1986 Alpina B6 3.5, which was a BMW 325i body and chassis with a 3.5-liter engine, tons of performance goodies, and suspension system that was great for the era.
With one of these icons of the German performance world for sale on Ebay, I decided to take a look back at the 1986 Alpina B6 3.5 and give you a rundown of just how amazing it was. I also took a look at how it compared to its main rival, the Brabus 190E 3.6.
Click "Continue Reading" to read my full review of the 1986 Alpina B6 3.5.
German-based car manufacturer Alpina has been making fast Bimmers since the 60s. It takes some of the best that BMW can offer and turns out performance-oriented, tuned-up vehicles laden with go-faster parts and extra luxury. Ctizens of the U.S., however, have had few opportunities for ownership.
It appears as though that’s gradually starting to change. The B6 xDrive Gran Coupe is Alpina’s take on the 6 Series Gran Coupe, BMW’s four-door styled as a two-door. This AWD rocket was first seen on American soil last year at the 2014 New York Auto Show, joining the 7 Series-based B7 for Alpina’s two American offerings.
Designated as an exclusive, special-order, limited-production vehicle, the B6 costs a small fortune, but comes with new features and exterior distinctions, not to mention a healthy amount of extra power.
It’s an alternative to an M car, with everything you’d expect from BMW, plus a little more. But is it worth the price?
Click past the jump to read more about the 2016 BMW Alpina B6 xDrive Gran Coupe.
While the BMW X3 has been around since 2004, Alpina’s version of it, the XD3 Bi-Turbo, has been only been around since 2014. Like all other Alpina models, the XD3 is based on the production Bimmer, but with a handful of exterior and interior updates, and a nice power bump as well. For the 2015 model year, the XD3 inherits all of the styling updates of the 2015 X3.
Some people mistakenly consider Alpina a BMW tuner, when in fact it is its own automaker as recognized by the German Ministry of Transport. Additionally, Alpina and BMW actually work closely with one another, and many of Alpina’s manufacturing processes are built directly into BMW’s production line. How many tuners can you think of who work that closely with a major automaker? I can’t think of a single one.
So, how does the XD3 stack up against the big boys of the luxury SUV world?
Click past the jump to read my full review of the Alpina XD3 Bi -Turbo to find out.
Alpina has a rich, 50-year history with BMW. The pair have built some of the most impressive luxury and performance vehicles ever to roll off a German assembly line. Unlike aftermarket tuners that begin work with a finished production car, Alpina works directly with BMW inside its factories to build specialty vehicles for the most picky of customers. The pair’s latest products are diesel-powered 4 Series coupe and convertible. Starting with the bones of the 4 Series, Alpina juices up the 3.0-liter, bi-turbo, inline six-cylinder to make an impressive 350 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque. Sadly, the oil-burner is not available in U.S.-spec 4 Series BMWs. Those across the pond will enjoy the benefits of diesel, getting more than 44 mpg on the highway. The added grunt to this twin-turbo beast means sub five-second zero to 60 mph times.
Alpina didn’t just make the D4 Biturbo faster. Added to the running gear are auxiliary springs with thicker anti-roll bars and adjusted camber and toe-in settings for the Alpina-specific wheels and Michelin Super Sport summer tires. The car already makes use of electronically controlled dampers that give the driver adjustability in the suspension. BMW’s limited-slip differential helps put power to the ground.
Click past the jump for more on the BMW Alpina D4 Biturbo.
You wouldn’t be blamed for thinking anyone setting out to make a better 2015 BMW M4 was on a fool’s errand. Journalists and critics have been known to use the M-Series as a benchmark for the segment. With a 3.0-liter, straight-six engine singing to a tune of 425 horsepower at the rear wheels, plus some of the best suspension in the business and the sort of high-end luxury you’d expect from BMW, making a better yardstick is far from simple.
However, there’s one company that’s proven time and again that BMW’s best can indeed be improved upon. In fact, Bavarian performance house Alpina has been doing it since the 60s. The company prides itself as a manufacturer, rather than a tuner, a claim backed by the close relationship Alpina enjoys with the German automaker.
Alpina’s latest effort begins with the diesel version of the 2014 BMW 4-Series, which promptly receives a barrage of subtle and not-so-subtle improvements to the exterior, interior, and performance pieces, rendering a vehicle that’s more than capable of challenging an M4. Vital stats are listed as such: an eight-speed gearbox is mated to a twin-turbocharged, 3.0-liter inline-six to produce 350 horsepower and an outrageous 516 pound-feet of torque, blessing the luxury coupe with a 0-to-100-km/h time of 4.6 seconds and a top speed of 173 mph. That’s squarely in M4 territory, and since it’s a diesel, you’ll get some very nice mileage stats to boot, with an advertised rate of around 44 mpg. Throw in the fact that the D4 Biturbo is cheaper than an M4, and suddenly, there might just be more than one yardstick to choose from.
In this video review, Autocar takes the Alpina out to some leaf-strewn country roads for a shakedown of what it’s like to drive, both tooling along normally, and crossed up with smoke billowing from the rear. While the reviewer is clearly in love with the machine, that’s ok: we totally understand. Now if only we could find one in a dealership on this side of the Atlantic…
The Alpina-BMW love affair goes back all the way to 1965, when the small Bavarian company began tuning carburetors and cylinder heads in a typewriter factory. Yes, that’s right, Alpina started as an office machinery company. The small venture began making a name for itself in the early 1970s by building a few BMWs that went on to win prestigious racing events and series such as the European Touring Car Championship, the German Hillclimb Championship and the Spa 24 Hours race.
More than forty years have passed since its 2800CS wowed the crowds, and Alpina established itself as a semi-official tuner whose creations can be found in between the stock BMW and the more potent vehicles delivered by the M Performance division. Well, sort of, but we’ll get back on that later in this review.
Moving on, Alpina’s latest creation, which is set to make it first public appearance on American soil at the 2014 New York Auto Show, is the 2015 B6 xDrive Gran Coupe — a more powerful and exclusive version of the BMW 650i Gran Coupe.
The all-wheel-drive performance sedan will become the second Alpina model to go on sale in the United States, where it will be joining the larger, 7 Series-based B7.
Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 BMW Alpina B6 xDrive Gran Coupe.
What happens when you pit a Dodge Challenger SRT8 against a big and heavy luxury limousine? Any rational person would bet heavily on the lighter Challenger, but there is on small exception about the nearly 4,700-pound competitor... it happens to be the Alpine B7 with a snarling V-8 under its hood. Now, that seems like a fair challenge, but that weight difference is a tough one to overcome.
So, here we have two V-8-powered cars; one is a coupe that is built to go fast and the other is a comfortable saloon that also has a little muscle behind it. The Challenger’s 6.4-liter V-8 puts out a very respectable 470 horsepower, but the 4.4-liter, twin-turbocharged V8 under the BMW Alpina B7’s hood makes 540 German-engineered horsepower. Now things are looking a little better matched...
So, who wins: raw American muscle or the nearly 550-horsepower luxury rig that is at a 500-pound disadvantage? Watch the above video to find out.
Click past the jump to read more about the BMW Alpina B7
BMW tuner extraordinaire Alpina is at the Tokyo Motor Show and it’s displaying a new program with it for the auto world to see. This one, called the B4 BiTurbo Coupe, is based on the BMW 4 Series, and true to Alpina’s reputation, the program comes chock-full with upgrades that have effectively turned the 4 Series into a real performance machine.
You expect something like this from Alpina, especially when you take into account its history of building some of the nastiest programs for BMW vehicles. With the new 4 Series, the German tuner’s capabilities now extends to another model.
That’s all well and good because you can’t have enough Alpina-tuned BMWs running around the streets this day. This one’s a real treat, too. It has some subtle yet effective aero updates, an awesome performance modification and added work done on the chassis and suspension of the sports coupe.
Everything’s here, really, and a good way for Alpina to start its 4 Series programs.
Updated 11/21/2013: Alpina has revealed all of the official details on its all-new B4 Coupe. See more after the jump.
Click past the jump to read more about the Alpina B4 BiTurbo Coupe.
At the end of the 2011, Alpina unveiled a very cool package for the 2012 BMW 3-Series, dubbed the "B3 GT3." And now, Sport Auto’s test drive editor Christian Gebhardt got behind the wheel of the B3 GT3 and had his way with it. He took the car up to an impressive top speed of 190 mph, just 2 mph under the top speed announced by Alpina.
As a reminder, the BMW B3 GT3 by Alpina is powered by a twin-turbo 3.0-liter inline six-cylinder engine that delivers a total of 402 HP and a peak torque of 398 lb-ft. This engine sprints the car from 0 to 60 mph in just 4.6 seconds. The only downside to the 2012 B3 GT3 program is that Alpina will only build 99 units of it, but there may be some left to snatch up. The cost for one has been pegged at €90,000, which is around $121,300 based on current exchange rates.
Back in July of last year, we were introduced to theBMW Alpina B5 Bi-Turbo at the Goodwood Festival of Speed. Well, now it looks like the Geneva Motor Show is going to be the stage for the touring version of the Alpina B5 Bi-Turbo to make its debut.
Not a lot of information was bared on what kind of aerodynamic changes the station wagon is going to come with, but we do know that it will offer the same powertrain as that of the sedan version, which will be a 4.4-liter twin-turbocharged V8 engine that produces 507 horsepower and 516 lb/ft of torque and mated to an eight-speed ZF automatic transmission.
The only difference - albeit a pretty small one - is that the sedan version posts a slightly faster 0-60 mph time - 4.7 seconds to 4.8 - compared to the touring version of the B5 Bi-Turbo. Likewise, the sedan version peaks at a slightly higher top speed of 191 mph compared to touring version’s 187 mph top speed.
The good thing is that the Geneva Motor Show will open its doors in less than a week so whatever curiosities we may have of this car we’ll be answered sooner than later.