The Alpina B5 comes with 612 horsepower and that’s more than the BMW M5

M-branded cars have been the flagship of BMW automobiles for a few decades now, but there’s one brand you can go to for a more exclusive Bimmer. I’m talking about Alpina, a small Bavarian company that has been modifying BMWs since the 1960s, long before the German firm established the M division. Alpina is now the go-to tuner if you want exclusive features on your BMW, but it also provides drivetrains that generate more oomph than those found in full-fledged M cars. One such example is the facelifted B5. Based on the G30-generation 5 Series, the 2021 Alpina B5 debuted with more oomph than the latest M5.Making things even better, it’s also available as a wagon.

The 2021 Alpina B5 looks quite elegant

The 2021 Alpina B5 is the BMW M5 Wagon you always wanted Exterior
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Although it's basically more powerful than the M5, the B5 looks more like a regular 5 Series.

It features big outlets in the front bumper and a sporty diffuser around back, but it retains the elegance of the regular 5 Series. It also retains the chrome, which is usually replaced by black trim on the M5. Like many Alpina models, the B5 rides on 20-inch forged wheels with a multi-spoke design. You can opt to have them finished in either black or Himalaya Grey. These rims are wrapped in Pirelli P Zero tires, so grip is better than ever.

The 2021 Alpina B5 is almost a regular 5 Series on the inside

The 2021 Alpina B5 is the BMW M5 Wagon you always wanted Interior
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The interior of the B5 doesn’t stand out all that much compared to the regular 5 Series when it comes to design and layout. However, you do get better materials, even when compared to the M5. The really big deal about Alpina interiors is that you can customize it in detail. You can also opt for fine Lavalina leather upholstery, which is available in a variety of colors. What you shouldn’t expect here is the pair of sporty front seats you get in the M5. The B5 is fitted with comfort seats instead since it’s not dedicated to track racing enthusiasts. You get all the cool technology available in the 5 Series, plus a customized instrument cluster with Alpina graphics.

The 2021 Alpina B5 boasts more oomph than the M5

The 2021 Alpina B5 is the BMW M5 Wagon you always wanted Exterior
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Just like the M5, the B5 features a twin-turbocharged, 4.4-liter V-8.

However, Alpina’s mill features different upgrades, so power figures are different as well. When it was unveiled in 2017, the G30-generation B5 came with 599 horsepower and 590 pound-feet of torque on tap. As if it wasn’t already more powerful than the M5, Alpina took things up a notch with an upgrade that increases output to 612 horsepower. That’s 21 horses more than the BMW M5. Granted, BMW also offers an M5 Competition version with 617 horsepower, but five horses don’t much such a big difference. Torque is also higher at 590 pound-feet, 37 more than the M5 and M5 Competition.

When it comes to performance, you can count on the Alpina B5 to take you from 0 to 62 mph in 3.4 seconds. That’s on par with the M5 and a tenth-second slower than the M5 Competition. But while it’s not quicker than the M5, the B5 comes with a much higher top speed at a whopping 205 mph.

The 2021 Alpina B5 is the BMW M5 Wagon you always wanted

The 2021 Alpina B5 is the BMW M5 Wagon you always wanted Exterior
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The really cool thing about the B5 is that it’s also available as a wagon, unlike the BMW M5, which is only offered as a four-door sedan. Despite rumors that it may relaunch the M5 Wagon, BMW hasn’t offered a grocery getter since 2010. With no clear plans to revive it, the Alpina B5 remains your best choice if you want a high-performance wagon engineered by BMW. The bad news is that it’s not available in the United States.

Ciprian Florea
Senior Editor and Supercar Expert - ciprian@topspeed.com
Ciprian's passion for everything with four wheels (and more) started back when he was just a little boy, and the Lamborghini Countach was still the coolest car poster you could hang on your wall. Ciprian's career as a journalist began long before earning a Bachelor's degree, but it was only after graduating that his love for cars became a profession.  Read More
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