8
Niche car maker goes large with its repurposed twin-turbo V8 6-series

What is it?: 

Rumour has it that the next big thing from Alpina will be a six-cylinder, twin-turbo D3 that can live with a BMW M3 in a straight line yet return more than 50mpg at the same time.

But that car won’t be available until quite a bit later in the year, and in the meantime Alpina has a whole range of other new cars with which to tickle the fancies of enthusiasts wanting more exclusivity from their fast BMWs, starting with the car you see here, the frankly monstrous new B6 Biturbo coupé.

Everything about the B6 is, shall we say, large. Beneath its bonnet sits a twin-turbo 4.4-litre V8 that produces 532bhp between 5200 and 6250rpm and a positively herculean 538lb ft at just 2800rpm.

The gearbox is a tweaked version of the eight-speed ZF automatic used in the regular 6-series, in this case enhanced by Alpina’s engineers to prevent upshifts in certain modes (which is useful on a circuit, for example) and to momentarily cut the flow of fuel and deliver a lovely burble between gearshifts as a result.

The chassis has also been preened by Alpina to provide a wider range of set-ups than in the standard BMW 6-series. So in Comfort mode the ride quality is softer than you get in a regular BMW, while in Sport and Sport Plus it’s the other way around, with the electronic dampers sharpening up the driving experience to a level that no regular BMW driver would quite recognise.

The same philosophy applies to the interior, in which you’ll find a far higher quality of leather than in a factory BMW, plus a set of dials and seats that are bespoke to the B6.

And if that’s not sufficient to distinguish the car, Alpina also offers a vast range of options that enable B6 owners to personalise their cars to whatever specification they require – while spending a great deal of money in the process, of course.

What's it like?: 

Outwardly, you can pick a B6 from lesser 6-series for several reasons. Not only does it come with Alpina’s big, beautiful 20in turbine alloys, but there’s also a new front splitter that reduces lift by as much as 10 per cent, says Alpina, while at the back there’s a small new lip spoiler or, if you’re feeling flamboyant, an optional new tea-tray wing that makes even better use of the redesigned rear diffuser.

On the road the B6 feels massively rapid, thanks mainly to the torque it produces from seemingly any engine speed and in any gear. The way the transmission manages the flow of energy is truly epic, and it gives the B6 a blend of smooth but monumental acceleration that no factory BMW, not even the M6, could hope to replicate on the move.

The exhaust note is rather delicious too, Alpina’s modifications gifting the B6 with a depth and range of noises that are endlessly entertaining to listen to.

Despite the chassis modifications, the B6 always feels like a fairly big car on the move. Its kerb weight of 1870kg means it is always going to fight a losing battle against the forces of inertia that swell during rapid direction changes or, indeed, under braking. 

The steering is a touch distant in its feedback, too, even though the front end always feels planted – as does the tail – if and when you aim the B6 at a high-speed corner with some enthusiasm.

Should I buy one?: 

Overall, the B6 is more of a high-speed cruiser than it is a pure sports car, but for the kind of customer who wants that little bit more depth from their 6-series, it’s a lovely alternative to the factory offerings.

At £92,850, it’s expensive, yes, but if ever a car felt worth that sort of money, the Alpina B6 is it. 

Alpina B6 Biturbo

Price £92,850; 0-62mph 4.3sec; Top speed 199mph (limited); Economy 30.0mpg (combined); CO2  219g/km; Kerb weight 1870kg (dry); Engine V8, 4395cc, twin-turbo, petrol; Power 532bhp at 5200-6250rpm; Torque 538lb ft at 2800-5000rpm; Gearbox 8-spd automatic

Join the debate

Comments
11

18 May 2013

is clearly an idiot. It can and here's the proof. Tasteful upgrades on what's probably one of BMW's better-looking cars. The lovely Alpina 'Classic' wheels suit this car well, too. It makes the M6 look a bit brash, in comparison, with its huge front valance and carbon roof. An Alpina B6 Gran Coupe in black would be my ultimate one-car garage.

21 May 2013

Hey!

Why not take a Cadillac CTS-V upgraded by Hennessy for those money? You will get 700 hp and much more fun! The interior isn't worse than BMW's!

I vote for American cars with true identity and better engines!

______________

William - CARiD

21 May 2013

Look, everyone does not want a Cadillac.  Specifically one with pushrod engine and an interior made from melted Pkayskol toys. The CTS-V is fast, but that is it.  It is lacking in sophistication,  panache,  overall dynamics,  styling,  road presence and much more.

The guy that is interested in an Alpina would not likely be interested in something as brutish as a GM CTS-V, a car that has no manners. The CTS-V is blunt instrument, that was designed by someone that has never seen a circle. The Alpina is sophisticated transport with power everywhere.

You seem to lack an understanding of quality,  and that is something GM really doesn't get. It is 2013 and you are lamenting the pushrod engine from a badly ran car company? From a quality, materials,  engineering,  sophistication standpoint,  the B6 is in a different universe. You get what you pay for. 

18 May 2013

Yep, these few words describe it perfectly, an Autobahn cruiser,able to sit at 150mph all day,though i suspect most will never be driven in anger,bought purely for the image,ego etc.

Peter Cavellini.

18 May 2013

Just a gorgeous car!  But, 7-series notwithstanding, will this B6 actually be competition for the new Mercedes S-Class, for those who want both top-end style and back-end sizzle?

----------------

18 May 2013

Why?

18 May 2013

Why not?

18 May 2013

Overdrive wrote:

Why not?

Why not indeed.

19 May 2013

No doubt good sirs.

meliora cogito

19 May 2013

How does Alpina achieve these results at every attempt? They seem to get it wham right with every single Beemer model that the lay their hands on.....their forays in the already awesome BMW diesels lately is even more phenomenal! This is a gem they churned out here......they should perhaps donate one iteration on these to BMW's chief exec. for good measure!!

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