Alpina is to BMW enthusiasts much like AMG is to Mercedes devotees, both eliciting great excitement and emotion. The former has announced the arrival of the 2022 BMW Alpina B8 Gran Coupe in late spring.
Recognized as an independent auto manufacturer by the German Ministry of Transport, Alpina Automobiles has had a longstanding technical partnership with BMW AG, operating as a privately-owned, wholly-separate research and development arm since 1965. The collaboration is such that Alpina vehicles, including the Alpina B7 Sedan, XB7 Sports Activity Vehicle, and now the B8 Gran Coupe, are sold and serviced by BMW dealers here and in Canada. Moreover, Alpinas are covered by the BMW New Vehicle Limited Warranty, and its vehicle maintenance programs, so they’re definitely a part of the family.
Now that we’ve sorted out the warranty and vehicle maintenance on the Alpina B8, let’s get to the part where we discuss what you get for your $139,900 base, plus the $995 destination charge. There’s a 612-horsepower, 4.4-liter bi-turbo V8, with 590 lb-ft of torque under your command. The Alpina will do 0-60 in 3.3 seconds, and a 1/4 mile in 11.5 seconds, with a 201 MPH maximum.
Two twin-scroll turbos are there to convert exhaust-gas energy into boost pressure almost instantly. What is either impressive on the Alpina B8 or lacking on the M850i xDrive from which it is derived is the triple external coolant coolers, larger transmission oil cooler, and Alpina’s intercoolers with 50-percent more cooling system. Which is it, overkill on the Alpina B8, or a need greater than what the M850i requires?
It’s a tough job, but someone has to do it. Hundreds if not thousands of test miles on the most demanding tracks across Europe were necessary to dial in the B8’s sport suspension system. Eibach springs and reinforced sway bars add vehicle stability and ride comfort while balancing the suspension characteristics. The ZF active kinematics control system prevents the rear wheels from pivoting more than 2.3 degrees left or right, before picking up the direction of the front wheels at speed for greater directional stability. The all-wheel driver BMW xDrive system is there to effortlessly transmit power to the road, just as the limited-slip rear differential adds steadiness on approach, and quicker throttle response when exiting.
Shod with 245/35Zr21 ultra-high performance (UHP) tires upfront and 285/35Z21 in back, mounted to Alpina’s classic 20-spoke 21-inch design, Alpina even offers a 20-inch wheel for winter or all-season use, sans the wheel hub covers. Big, blue Brembo four-piston brake calipers with white Alpina lettering, are matched with 15.6-inch brake discs in the front, and 15.7-inch rears for exceptional stops. As fast as the Alpina B8 will run, you’re going to need to stop sometime, and maybe in a hurry at that.
Blue and green metallic finishes are reserved solely for Alpina BMW automobiles, although there are other BMW and BMW Individual colors you can choose from. I’d go through the options if it wasn’t for the fact that the list is almost as long as what’s already included. A carbon roof, Bowers & Wilkins sound system in place of the standard Harman Kardon tuner, six different interior trims, an Alcantara headliner, a driving assistance package, and an even more robust driving assistance pro package rounds out what all is available. Maybe the BMW Alpina B8 Gran Coupe is beyond ultimate amongst ultimate driving machines.