Uprated versions of rapid saloon and estate get 591bhp V8 motor from the limited-edition 50th anniversary models
23 November 2015

This is the new Alpina B5 Biturbo, an uprated version of the Bavarian marque’s reworked BMW 5 Series models that’s designed to take them through until the arrival of the all-new generation in 2017.

Alpina has given the regular B5 Biturbo the same uprated power unit that featured in the Edition 50 versions of the saloon and Touring models earlier this year. That means the twin-turbocharged 4.4-litre V8 petrol engine has been boosted to 591bhp and 591lb ft of torque - enough to take the B5 saloon from 0-62mph in just 4.2sec and to a top speed of 204mph.

Read the Alpina B5 Edition 50 review

The gearbox choice remains Alpina’s reprofiled version of the ZF eight-speed automatic transmission, while other standard equipment includes a limited-slip differential and electronically adjustable dampers that include a sports mode.

Other Edition 50 tweaks have also made it through to the regular B5 line-up; you can specify a titanium exhaust by Akrapovic (it saves 17kg over the regular set-up) and higher-performance brakes. The Edition 50’s custom paintwork, decals, cabin trims and signed plaque are not carried over - although every Alpina is individually numbered anyway.

Our Verdict

Alpina B5

The Alpina B5 is very quick, but it is let down by uninvolving driving dynamics

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Driven this week

See the pics in our Alpina 50th Anniversary gallery

The new spec of B5 should be seen as a run-out edition - although it will last for more than a year. The all-new BMW 5 Series is due in late 2016 and Alpina is likely to wheel out its own version of the next generation soon after - perhaps at the firm’s most important European show, Geneva, in March 2017.

What's not clear is whether Alpina's British importer, Sytner, will end up selling the 2016 B5 Biturbo. The firm had stopped selling the B5 in the UK before the Edition 50 - but it easily sold its allocation of just two examples of the limited model and says it has had solid enquiries for the 2016 B5.

"We're just waiting to see if Alpina will homologate the car for right-hand drive," said a spokesman.

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Our Verdict

Alpina B5

The Alpina B5 is very quick, but it is let down by uninvolving driving dynamics

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week