What is it?
But unlike the BMW, this is very much a limited-series car, with only 99 examples built and the majority already sold – mostly in a flattish grey or spectacular Fire Orange, which recalls the old Alpina-tuned Group 2 Jägermeister 3.0 CSL raced by Niki Lauda.
No matter the colour, anybody paying £73,100 is unlikely to be disappointed with the mechanical specification, even if it is largely unchanged from the standard B4 S.
In short, Alpina takes BMW’s 'N55' 3.0-litre straight six engine and recasts the aluminium block in order to fit a pair of faster-spooling turbochargers. There’s also a higher-capacity intercooler, and both the external oil and water coolers are substantially larger. Software specific to the Edition 99 then takes power from 434bhp to 446bhp and torque from 486lb ft to 502lb ft – a frankly vast figure that promises devastating performance through the mid-range.
Where the standard B4 S gets a stainless steel Akrapovič exhaust, saving 7.5kg, that on the Edition 99 is made from titanium, saving a further 7kg, and there's a matt finish for the four tailpipes. Along with the standard forged 20in wheels and black badging, it’s possible to make the Edition 99 stand out further still with a two-tone paint job and historical ‘BMW Alpina’ decals on the front wings. Just don't forget to bring your aviators.
As with all current Alpina models, there's no manual gearbox option, only a sharpened version of ZF's eight-speed automatic, but this is still a relatively heavy car. At 1690kg for rear-wheel-drive versions, the Edition 99 is no lighter than the standard B4 S and 110kg more than an M4 CS, which uses plenty of carbonfibre body panels. You can factor in a bit more for cars with four-wheel drive, even if the extra traction does drop the 0-62mph time from 4.2sec to 3.9sec.