Germany’s classic executive saloon has hit something of a zenith with this extra-special version of the BMW 4 Series Gran Coupé.
The BMW Alpina D4 S Gran Coupé has a super-rare combination of static, dynamic, rational and subjective qualities the likes of which you only find in cars built for uncompromising speed, efficiency, luxury, desirability and driver appeal. Cars that just don’t take no for an answer.
The D4 S seems, to me at least, like the manifestation of so many things that the European luxury car industry has worked tirelessly in pursuit of and made countless marginal gains on over the past half-century. It’s fast and frugal, effortless and opulent, refined and exclusive, enticing to travel in and engaging to drive.
But above all else, it’s a sensational long-distance car. And in another 15 or 20 years, when we may very well be defaulting to high-speed trains when we have more than 100 miles to travel, will we even remember that its like ever existed, I wonder? Will we know what we’ve lost? The electric car may be good at lots of things, but I don’t suppose it will ever decimate distance with the supreme ease of a D4 S.
The past couple of years for celebrated (but no longer independent) BMW tuner Alpina have been mostly about its respective takes on the G20 and G21 generations of the 3 Series, but it announced its six-cylinder petrol and diesel takes on the current G26-generation 4 Series four-door grand tourer in spring 2022 - and now both are around in the UK in right-hand drive form.