In a world …of squat, bland crossovers a big tourer stands out like a sleek athlete in a burger bar. It certainly seems clear to me that my preference and fondness for big, fast estate cars shows no sign of abating. Good. Let’s hope it stays that way and that Alpina continue doing their good works for the benefit of motoring mankind.
Essentially this famous brand takes your regular flavoured, perfectly fine BMW cars and turns them into something extra special. Such is the case with this startling new offering, a car that has been announced as being the fastest production estate yet, the new Alpina B5 Bi-Turbo Touring. This ferocious vehicle offers a unique combination of comfort, luxury and ultra-high performance ranging beyond, they say, 200mph.
Available in the UK from £91,000 (Saloon £89,000), the B5 Bi-Turbo sets a new price point for entry to the 200mph club. Both cars are powered by Alpina’s 608hp V8, first seen in the B7 Bi-Turbo launched mid-2017. The good news is that the cars continue to have full BMW Warranty support and are available with an almost limitless range of bespoke Alpina interior finishes crafted at the company’s saddlery in Buchloe, Germany.
Here’s a quote from Alpina UK:
“Our cars are for driving enthusiasts who value a blend of qualities that can only be delivered by immense attention to detail and a single-minded focus on one type of owner,” explains Alpina GB’s Jonathan Noy. “The B5 Bi-Turbo is built with just one powertrain and one chassis specification, which allows our engineers to calibrate every component and every control system to work perfectly together without compromise. Alpina’s dynamics specialists have spent months honing the chassis, not hurling it around a race track but simply driving as customers would, on roads, enjoying every mile however fast or slow. The result is a pin-sharp driving experience combined with remarkable ride quality.”
The Alpina High-Torque Powertrain
At the heart of the new range is Alpina’s substantially revised version of BMW’s N63TU2, 4.4litre V8 driving through an eight-speed automatic ‘box.
Blessings be upon he who retains the V8 in a vanilla sea of alternative eco-choices.
To increase the power and torque without compromising responsiveness, say the company, particular attention has been paid to airflow optimisation, with a new wide-bore intake system providing shorter intake paths and optimised radii to allow near-instant throttle response.
The brief goes on: The standard turbochargers have been replaced by two specially-developed, twin-scroll turbochargers located between the cylinder banks, operating in parallel to deliver up to 1.4 bar with minimum inertia. Enlarged inlet and outlet diameters further improve gas flow, contributing to a wide, flat torque curve and excellent throttle response even at low engine speeds. By 2,000rpm, the Alpina V8 is already generating 494 lbft of torque, swelling to an astonishing 590 lbft plateau from 3,000 – 5,000rpm.
There’s a lot more of this tech talk available but enough already because, frankly, I am already convinced. Look at that cabin. 0-62mph in 3.4 seconds anyone? See the website.
Jonathan Noy has last word.
“Alpinas are designed to be driven very fast over long distances. These are practical supercars to enjoy every day.”
We hear and obey. Geoff Maxted