Today is officially A Very Good Day, for it begins with news of a new Alpina. More specifically the gorgeous Alpina B8 Gran Coupe – a subtler, rarer, altogether cooler and softer-edged alternative to BMW’s own M8 Gran Coupe.
Let’s run through the specs. “Optimised turbocharging and cooling systems” mean BMW’s ubiquitous 4.4-litre twin-turbocharged V8 makes 621hp and 800Nm of torque.
The former is 90hp more than you get in the M850i (from which the B8 is derived) and just 4hp shy of the M8, while the latter is 50Nm more than the 850i and the M8. 0-100km/h takes 3.3 seconds and the top speed is 324km/h. It’ll do a quarter-mile in 11.5 seconds.
Alpina claims the 8spd ZF automatic gearbox has “undergone substantial development work”.
Meanwhile the suspension has been beefed-up with Eibach springs and much besides, the brakes are by Brembo, the xDrive all-wheel drive system has been augmented with a limited-slip differential and Alpina has wrapped special Pirelli tyres around its classic 20-spoke alloys (here 21-inches in diameter).
Interestingly the B8 also gets rear-wheel steering – something the M8 does without.
With the exception of big ‘ALPINA’ lettering up front, the B8 is a subtle thing.
The front bumper has bigger cut-outs for better cooling, while out back there’s a little lip spoiler and quad exhausts. Inside is per the standard car, but trimmed in special leathers and with a load of normally optional equipment thrown in gratis.
The B8 is in the same ballpark as an M8 with a few options. Which one’s your money going on?
STORY Tom Harrison