If you think the BMW M8 Gran Coupé is too popular, Alpina has the answer! The new B8 Gran Coupe is the big sleek saloon perfect archetype: comfortable, ultra-fast and hyper-luxurious to cross Germany in complete quietness. Let’s detail this new superb driving machine coming from Buchloe, Bavaria.
Sometimes, in one’s automotive life, meetings turn into something special. While I had never been particularly attracted to Alpinas, back in 2013, it only took a few hours at the helm of the B3 GT3 to be under the brand’s spell. Alpinas are famous for their exclusive and particularly neat interior, different enough from the usual BMW ones, their near perfect balance between comfort and sportiness, as well as subtle and exclusive touches on the outside. The recipe works a treat on this large coupe, turning it into a rather unique and one-of-a-kind machine.
Even though the recipe is well- known, enthusiasts still swear by it. Externally, the changes are very subtle: exclusive colours, Alpina graphics, not to mention the 20 spokes watermarked design 21’’ forged rims, wearing specific Pirelli rubber. Elegant details abound inside too: backlit doorsills or the Crafted Clarity glass insert proudly displaying the brand’s laser-engraved logo add a note of exclusivity, as do the standard decorative walnut panels finished in brilliant gunmetal colour. Each Alpina steering wheel is carefully hand-stitched with high-quality naturally tanned Lavalina leather – supreme feeling and incomparable sensations are ensured on every single trip. Alpina’s upholstery shop offers near-endless possibilities to tailor that unique interior down to the very last detail to please customers.
Obviously, it’s under the bonnet that the Alpina B8 received major tweaks: the M850i 4;4 l V8 sees a jump of 90 HP in power (up to 620 HP)and torque : 100 Nm more, now delivering 800 of them, no less. That is barely 5 HP less than the M8, with similar torque values. Acceleration from standstill to 100 km/h takes just 3,4 secs (just 2/10 more than the M8), however top speed is 342 km/h while the M8 is electronically restricted to 305 km/h.
Alpina extensively revised the 8-speed ZT auto transmission, too. The suspension uses Eibach springs and the brakes are Brembos all round. The all-wheel drive chassis was made even more efficient with a limited slip differential. While the BMW M8 is not entitled to rear steering wheels, the Alpina B8 sticks with them.
Once again, the small Swabian carmaker did its magic, delivering a truly unique car allying sobriety and high performance in spades. A unique car for truly discerning enthusiasts. (Translation: Dimitri Urbain)