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!
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…
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
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.
The luxury tuners Alpina have just unveiled the BMW ALPINA B7 BiTurbo Limousine at the 41st Tokyo Motor Show. The high end BMW specialists Alpina are responsible for taking care of the lack of an M inspired version of BMW’s larger limousine. Based on the BMW 7 Series, the Alpina B7 Biturbo combines exclusiveness, athleticism and comfort in perfect harmony to create a high performance luxury limousine. Committed to developing the best performing vehicles in the luxury market, BMW with ALPINA has created a special high performance version of BMW’s 7 Series luxury, the biturbo’s engine output has been raised to 507 HP thanks to the turbochargers. The suspension is electronically adjustable, ready for any situation and because it is an Alpina the vehicle rests on the signature 20 spoke 21 inch Alpina Classic wheel.
Both the Alpina B7 and the Mercedes Benz CLK 63 AMG Black Series are high performance luxury vehicles that will run you well over $100,000; however they are both beasts of very different natures. The Alpina B7 is an over the top replacement for BMW’s lack of a factory tuned 7 Series, and thanks to the high end tuners at Alpina the supercharged luxury limousine has as much grunt under the hood as there are luxuries on the inside. Although the B7 will light up the rear tires on command, the Black Series Benz is the true sports car of the two. Whereas the Alpina seats up to five occupants comfortably, the F1 Safety Car inspired CLK only has room for two, and thanks to one of the German automaker’s high performance 6.2 Liter V8 and razor sharp handling makes the Mercedes the ride of choice for enthusiast drives, while the Alpina is more than suited to shuttle around royalty in a more than exclusive 7 Series BMW.