Alpina works closely with BMW and their processes are integrated into BMW's production lines, thus Alpina is recognized by TÜV as an automobile manufacturer, in contrast to other performance specialists which are aftermarket tuners. For instance, the Alpina B7 is produced at the same assembly line in Dingolfing, Germany, along with BMW's own 7-Series. For the 2011 model year, the B7's twin-turbo 4.4-litre BMW V8 is assembled by hand at Alpina's facility in Buchloe, Germany, before being shipped to BMW for installation, and the assembled vehicle is then sent back to Alpina for finishing touches.
The firm was founded in 1965 by Burkard Bovensiepen, a member of the Bovensiepen family of industrialists.
The beginnings of Alpina found its roots in 1962 as the Weber dual carburetor was developed for the new BMW 1500. The company would not be officially founded until a few years later as the Weber dual carburetor came to completion and was certified around 1964 by BMW, receiving praise from the chief of sales, Paul Hahnemann.
Alpina was founded by Burkard Bovensiepen (b. 1936) in 1965 as Burkard Bovensiepen KG in Kaufbeuren, Bavaria in southern Germany. The original name can be traced to Dr. Rudolf Bovensiepen, his father, whose company produced office machinery.
Although Alpina started by producing typewriters, the original Alpina ceased to exist at the end of the 1960s in their attempt to move into the textile industry. In 1965, Burkard established a BMW tuning business, following his success with investments in the stock market. He started the tuning business in an outbuilding of the original Alpina typewriter factory. The company worked on carburetors and revised cylinder heads. By 1970, with seventy employees, the original facility changed locations from Kaufbeuren to Buchloe.
The name Alpina would come to be amplified and recognized on new levels in 1967 with the inception its current and ever-enduring company logo and trademark.
Between 1968 and 1977, Alpina cars did very well in competition. The highlight was in 1970, when the team's cars won the European Touring Car Championship, the German Hillclimb Championship, rally and track racing championships and the prestigious Spa 24 Hours.
Alpina officially withdrew from racing in 1988 because of capacity limitations and restrictions. Tied to this was the decision to begin production on a new set of BMW Alpina automobiles.
Since the late 1970s Alpina has been recognized by TÜV as an automobile manufacturer, thus Alpina-built cars are branded and registered as Alpina instead of BMW, although an Alpina can be bought and serviced at local BMW dealerships, and covered if there is a warranty issue.
Distinctive features of Alpina vehicles are 20 spoke alloy wheels, "Alpina Blue" patented metallic paint, in addition to expensive interior materials used to fabricate the exclusive interior appointments. A typical blue and green pattern (same as in the logo) is often used on interior parts such as stitchings on leather and different fabrics used in the upholstery. A thin, pinstriped style outside body decor set in gold or silver is also a trademark of Alpina cars. A metal plate inside also proves the heritage and the serial number of the car.
Compared to cars from BMW's in-house motorsport-rooted subsidiary, BMW M, Alpina's vehicles have more emphasis on luxury, higher torque, and have automatic transmissions instead of manual or semi-automatic transmissions. For instance, regarding the high performance variants of the BMW E60 5-Series, the B5 offers a different take on performance and how to accomplish it. Unlike BMW M's own M5 which has a naturally aspirated, high-revving 5.0L V10, the Alpina B5 uses a supercharged 4.4L V8 which produces similar horsepower and remarkably greater torque at lower rpm.
- ALPINA D3 Bi-Turbo Sedan / Touring and Coupe based on the BMW E90/E91/E92 with 123d engine - 214 PS (157 kW; 211 hp) / 450 N·m (332 lb·ft)
- ALPINA B3 S Bi-Turbo Sedan / Touring / Coupe and Cabrio: based on the BMW E90/E91/E92/E93 335i 400 PS (294 kW; 395 hp) / 400 N·m (295 lb·ft). This model can be ordered with RWD or AWD.
- ALPINA D5 Bi-Turbo Sedan/Touring: based on the BMW F10/F11 5 Series - featuring a 3 L straight 6 Bi-Turbo engine, delivering 350 PS (257 kW; 345 hp) 700 N·m (516 lb·ft).
- ALPINA B5 Bi-Turbo Sedan/Touring: based on the BMW F10/F11 5 Series - featuring a 4.4 L V8 Bi-Turbo engine, also used in the Alpina B7 507 PS (373 kW; 500 hp) / 700 N·m (516 lb·ft)
- ALPINA B6 Bi-Turbo Coupé/Convertible: based on the BMW F12/F13 6 Series - featuring a 4.4 L V8 Bi-Turbo engine. 540 PS (397 kW; 533 hp) / 730 N·m (538 lb·ft)
- ALPINA B7 Bi-Turbo: based on the BMW F01 7 Series - featuring a 4.4 L V8 Bi-Turbo engine 507 PS (373 kW; 500 hp) / 700 N·m (516 lb·ft)
- ALPINA B6 xDrive Gran Coupe: based on the BMW F06
ALPINA B46 single turbo 3.0 diesel made for the le man 24 hour race in 2004 359 bhp 710nm torque based on the e46 330cd
BMW permitted Alpina to produce a high-performance version of its flagship 7-Series, however they did not want it to be a high-revving, BMW M version (which would have been known as a "BMW M7" under the current nomenclature). It has also been suggested that there was no market for an M7 that would have featured the BMW M's trademark high-rev engine and twin-clutch automated manual transmission, and most customers who desired a performance option in the 7 Series would have gone for the V12-engined BMW 760Li.
Competitors include the Mercedes-Benz S63 AMG and Audi S8.
For the E65 7-Series generation, the Alpina B7 was widely credited with being able to hold its own against top performing offerings from Mercedes (including AMG) such as the S600 and S63 AMG, Audi (particularly quattro's Audi S8), the Bentley Flying Spur, and Jaguar XJ Supercharged, while BMW's own top-of-the-line V12 760Li was considered uncompetitive.
The E65 B7 uses a supercharged version of the 4.4-litre V8 found in the BMW 745i as the 750i and its 4.8-litre engine were not around when development began. The 760Li's naturally aspirated 6.0-litre V12 was deemed too heavy to have a sporty offshoot. The 2011 Alpina B7, with its twin-turbo 4.4-litre V8 engine and 6-speed automatic transmission, is less expensive and yet faster than its F01 stablemate, the 2010 BMW 760Li powered by a twin-turbo 6.0-litre V12 mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission. The B7's engine, derived from the BMW N63 that is found in the standard BMW lineup, matches the BMW 750i in fuel economy despite increased performance, plus its lighter weight than the 760Li's V12 engine gives the B7 considerably better weight distribution and handling than the 760Li.
BMW of North America, LLC offered 800 Alpina B7s as limited edition models for 2007 and 2008, which all quickly sold out.
The F01 B7 will be offered again for the 2011 model year in the USA, with approximately 500 vehicles (half of the annual production of the B7) with a choice of rear-wheel drive or all-wheel drive and/or a standard or long wheelbase (the B7, B7 L (long wheelbase), B7 xDrive (all-wheel drive), and B7 L xDrive), otherwise all configurations have the same equipment. Roughly 80 models will be sold in Canada, all of the xDrive variety due to that country's winter weather.
The B7's twin-turbo 4.4-litre V8 is assembled by hand at Alpina's facility in Buchloe, Germany, before being shipped to BMW for installation, and the assembled vehicle is then sent back to Alpina for finishing touches. It is based upon BMW's twin-turbo V8 but produces considerable more torque and horsepower, albeit with some turbo lag due to the larger turbos, yet more measured throttle mapping makes the B7 smoother than a stock BMW 750i.
While BMW uses run-flat tires for its 7 Series, the B7 comes with non-reinforced tires with a tire repair kit for emergencies. By using conventional, softer-sidewalled tires, compared to the reinforced sidewalls of run-flats, Alpina engineers were able to stiffen the B7's suspension for better handling and still improve the ride quality over that of a stock BMW 750i.
For the 2013 model year, the Alpina B7 received similar updates to the rest of the 7 Series lineup, including an 8-speed automatic transmission, while its engine adds Valvetronic and now produces 540 hp and 538 pound-feet of torque, which is good for a 0 to 100 km time of just 4.3 seconds and a top speed of 300 km/h. Compared to BMW M's version of the 4.4L twin-turbo engine (such as found in the F10 BMW M5), Alpina's engine has 20 hp less but more maximum torque which is also available at a lower rpm.
The 2013 Alpina B7 handles better than BMW's own 760Li V12.
Alpina B3 GT3
To celebrate Alpina's victory in the 2011 ADAC GT Masters with an Alpina B6 GT3, Alpina decided to produce a limited run of the Alpina B3 S Bi-Turbo, called the Alpina B3 GT3. Modifications on the exhaust system (especially developed in collaboration with Akrapovic) increased power to 300 kW (408 PS; 402 bhp). The brake system and suspension are upgraded and designed for intensive usage.
But the most noticeable is the exterior: The B3 GT3 sports a carbon fibre rear wing, a special front splitter and 19" lightweight Alpina GT3 Classic wheels, painted in Himalaya Grey. The B3 GT3 is available in Black Sapphire metallic, Mineral White metallic, Alpina Blue metallic or with a full body vinyl wrap in the official GT3 design. The car can be ordered with an extra set of lightweight wheels (also 19" Alpina GT3 Classic, but equipped with Michelin Pilot Sport Cup+ tyres) for use on the track.
Only 99 units will be produced.
|Alpina model||BMW donor model||Alpina Engine||Power||Torque||Production|
|A1/3||E21 320||A1/3||90 kW (122 PS; 121 bhp) @ 5800||170 N·m (130 ft·lbf) @ 4000||1975–1977|
|A2/3||E21 320||A2/3||112 kW (152 PS; 150 bhp) @ 6900||173 N·m (128 ft·lbf) @ 5500||1975–1977|
|A4/3||E21 320i||A4/3||119 kW (162 PS; 160 bhp) @ 6700||180 N·m (130 ft·lbf) @ 5500||1976–1977|
|A4S/3||E21 320i||A4S/3||125 kW (170 PS; 168 bhp) @ 6700||180 N·m (130 ft·lbf) @ 5500||1976–1977|
|C1 2,3||E21 323i||C1||125 kW (170 PS; 168 bhp) @ 6000||210 N·m (150 ft·lbf) @ 4500||1980–1983|
|B6 2,8||E21 323i||B6||147 kW (200 PS; 197 bhp) @ 6200||248 N·m (183 ft·lbf) @ 4500||1978–1981|
|B6 2,8||E21 323i||B6||160 kW (218 PS; 215 bhp) @ 6000||265 N·m (195 ft·lbf) @ 5000||1981–1983|
|C1 2,3 / 1||E30 323i||C1/1||125 kW (170 PS; 168 bhp) @ 6000||225 N·m (166 ft·lbf) @ 5000||1983–1985|
|C1 2,5||E30 325i||C2/3||140 kW (190 PS; 188 bhp) @ 5800||235 N·m (173 ft·lbf) @ 5000||1983–1985|
|C2 2,5||E30 325i||C2||136 kW (185 PS; 182 bhp) @ 5800||246 N·m (181 ft·lbf) @ 4800||1986-1986|
|C2 2,7||E30 325i||C2/1||154 kW (209 PS; 207 bhp) @ 5800||267 N·m (197 ft·lbf) @ 4500||1986–1987|
|C2 2,7||E30 325i||C2/2||149 kW (203 PS; 200 bhp) @ 6000||265 N·m (195 ft·lbf) @ 4800||1987-1987|
|B3 2,7||E30 325i||C2/2||150 kW (204 PS; 201 bhp) @ 6000||265 N·m (195 ft·lbf) @ 4800||1987–1992|
|B6 2,8 / 1||E30 323i/325i||B6/2||154 kW (209 PS; 207 bhp) @ 6100||270 N·m (200 ft·lbf) @ 5000||1984–1986|
|B6 3,5||E30 323i/325i||B10/2||192 kW (261 PS; 257 bhp) @ 6000||346 N·m (255 ft·lbf) @ 4000||1985–1987|
|B6 3,5||E30 325i||B10/3||187 kW (254 PS; 251 bhp) @ 5900||320 N·m (240 ft·lbf) @ 4000||1986–1987|
|B6 3,5||E30 325i||B10/5||187 kW (254 PS; 251 bhp) @ 5900||320 N·m (240 ft·lbf) @ 4000||1987–1990|
|B6 3,5 S||E30 M3||B10/5||187 kW (254 PS; 251 bhp) @ 5900||320 N·m (240 ft·lbf) @ 4000||1987–1990|
|B6 2,8||E36 325i||E1||177 kW (241 PS; 237 bhp) @ 5900||293 N·m (216 ft·lbf) @ 4700||1992–1993|
|B3 3,0||E36 325i||E3||184 kW (250 PS; 247 bhp) @ 5700||320 N·m (240 ft·lbf) @ 4400||1993–1996|
|B3 3,2||E36 328i||E4||195 kW (265 PS; 261 bhp) @ 5800||330 N·m (240 ft·lbf) @ 4400||1996–1999|
|B8 4,6||E36 328i||F2/1||245 kW (333 PS; 329 bhp) @ 5700||470 N·m (350 ft·lbf) @ 3900||1995–1998|
|B3 3,3||E46 328i||E4/4||206 kW (280 PS; 276 bhp) @ 6200||335 N·m (247 ft·lbf) @ 4500||1999–2002|
|B3 3,3 ALLRAD||E46 330ix||E4/8||206 kW (280 PS; 276 bhp) @ 6200||335 N·m (247 ft·lbf) @ 4500||2001–2005|
|B3 S||E46 330i||E5/1||224 kW (305 PS; 300 bhp) @ 6300||362 N·m (267 ft·lbf) @ 4800||2002–2006|
|B3 Bi-Turbo||E90/E91/E92/E93 335i||K2||265 kW (360 PS; 355 bhp) @ 5500||500 N·m (370 ft·lbf) @ 3800||2007–2010|
|B3 Bi-Turbo Allrad||E90/E91/E92 335xi||K2||265 kW (360 PS; 355 bhp) @ 5500||500 N·m (370 ft·lbf) @ 3800||2008–2010|
|B7 Turbo||E12 528i||B7||221 kW (300 PS; 296 bhp) @ 6000||462 N·m (341 ft·lbf) @ 3000||1978–1982|
|B7 S Turbo||E12 528i||B7S||243 kW (330 PS; 326 bhp) @ 5800||500 N·m (370 ft·lbf) @ 3000||1981–1982|
|B9 3,5||E28 528i||B9||180 kW (245 PS; 241 bhp) @ 5700||320 N·m (240 ft·lbf) @ 4000||1981–1983|
|B9 3,5 / 1||E28 528i||B9/1||180 kW (245 PS; 241 bhp) @ 5700||320 N·m (240 ft·lbf) @ 4000||1983–1985|
|B7 Turbo / 1||E28 528i/535i||B7/1||221 kW (300 PS; 296 bhp) @ 5800||501 N·m (370 ft·lbf) @ 3000||1984–1987|
|B10 3,5||E28 535i||B10||192 kW (261 PS; 257 bhp) @ 5800||346 N·m (255 ft·lbf) @ 4000||1985–1987|
|B7 Turbo / 1||E28 535i||B7/3||235 kW (320 PS; 315 bhp) @ 5700||520 N·m (380 ft·lbf) @ 2400||1986–1987|
|B10 3,5 / 1||E34 535i||B11/3||187 kW (254 PS; 251 bhp) @ 6000||325 N·m (240 ft·lbf) @ 4000||1988–1992|
|B10 Bi-Turbo||E34 535i||B7/5||265 kW (360 PS; 355 bhp) @ 6000||520 N·m (380 ft·lbf) @ 4000||1989–1994|
|B10 3,0 ALLRAD||E34 525ix||E3/1||170 kW (231 PS; 228 bhp) @ 5800||312 N·m (230 ft·lbf) @ 4200||1993–1996|
|B10 4,0||E34 540i||F1||232 kW (315 PS; 311 bhp) @ 5800||410 N·m (300 ft·lbf) @ 4600||1993–1996|
|B10 4,6||E34 540i||F2||250 kW (340 PS; 335 bhp) @ 5700||480 N·m (350 ft·lbf) @ 3900||1994–1996|
|B10 3,2||E39 528i||E4/3||191 kW (260 PS; 256 bhp) @ 5900||330 N·m (240 ft·lbf) @ 4300||1997–1998|
|B10 3,3||E39 528i||E4/5||206 kW (280 PS; 276 bhp) @ 6200||335 N·m (247 ft·lbf) @ 4500||1999–2003|
|B10 V8||E39 540i||F3||250 kW (340 PS; 335 bhp) @ 5700||470 N·m (350 ft·lbf) @ 3900||1997–1998|
|B10 V8||E39 540i||F4||255 kW (347 PS; 342 bhp) @ 5700||480 N·m (350 ft·lbf) @ 3700||1998–2002|
|B10 V8 S||E39 540i||F5||276 kW (375 PS; 370 bhp) @ 5800||510 N·m (380 ft·lbf) @ 3800||2002–2004|
|B5||E60/E61 545i||H1||368 kW (500 PS; 493 bhp) @ 5500||700 N·m (520 ft·lbf) @ 4250||2005–2007|
|B5S||E60/E61 550i||H2||390 kW (530 PS; 523 bhp) @ 5500||725 N·m (535 ft·lbf) @ 4750||2007–2010|
|B7 Turbo Coupé||E24 630CSi||B7||221 kW (300 PS; 296 bhp) @ 6000||462 N·m (341 ft·lbf) @ 2500||1978–1982|
|B7 S Turbo Coupé||E24 635CSi||B7S||243 kW (330 PS; 326 bhp) @ 5800||500 N·m (370 ft·lbf) @ 3000||1982-1982|
|B9 3,5 Coupé||E24 635CSi||B9||180 kW (245 PS; 241 bhp) @ 5700||320 N·m (240 ft·lbf) @ 4000||1982-1982|
|B9 3,5 Coupé / 1||E24 635CSi||B9/1||180 kW (245 PS; 241 bhp) @ 5700||320 N·m (240 ft·lbf) @ 4000||1982–1985|
|B7 Turbo Coupé / 1||E24 635CSi||B7/2||243 kW (330 PS; 326 bhp) @ 5700||512 N·m (378 ft·lbf) @ 2400||1984–1987|
|B10 3,5 Coupé||E24 635CSi||B10||192 kW (261 PS; 257 bhp) @ 6000||346 N·m (255 ft·lbf) @ 4000||1985–1987|
|B7 Turbo Coupé / 1||E24 635CSi||B7/3||235 kW (320 PS; 315 bhp) @ 5700||520 N·m (380 ft·lbf) @ 2400||1986–1988|
|B6||E63/E64 650i||H1||368 kW (500 PS; 493 bhp) @ 5500||700 N·m (520 ft·lbf) @ 4250||2006–2008|
|B11 3,5||E32 735i||B11||184 kW (250 PS; 247 bhp) @ 5700||330 N·m (240 ft·lbf) @ 4000||1987-1987|
|B11 3,5||E32 735i||B11/1||176 kW (239 PS; 236 bhp) @ 5700||310 N·m (230 ft·lbf) @ 4500||1987-1987|
|B11 3,5||E32 735i||B11/3||187 kW (254 PS; 251 bhp) @ 6000||325 N·m (240 ft·lbf) @ 4000||1987–1993|
|B11 4,0||E32 740i||F1||232 kW (315 PS; 311 bhp) @ 5800||410 N·m (300 ft·lbf) @ 4600||1993–1994|
|B12 5,0||E32 750i||D1||257 kW (349 PS; 345 bhp) @ 5300||470 N·m (350 ft·lbf) @ 4000||1988–1994|
|B12 5,7 E-KAT||E38 750i||D3||285 kW (387 PS; 382 bhp) @ 5200||560 N·m (410 ft·lbf) @ 4100||1995–1998|
|B12 6,0 E-KAT||E38 750i||D3/2||316 kW (430 PS; 424 bhp) @ 5400||600 N·m (440 ft·lbf) @ 4200||1999–2001|
|B7||E65/E66 745i||H1||368 kW (500 PS; 493 bhp) @ 5500||700 N·m (520 ft·lbf) @ 4250||2003–2008|
|B12 5,0 Coupé||E31 850i/850Ci||D1/1||257 kW (349 PS; 345 bhp) @ 5300||470 N·m (350 ft·lbf) @ 4000||1990–1994|
|B12 5,7 Coupé||E31 850CSi||D2||306 kW (416 PS; 410 bhp) @ 5400||570 N·m (420 ft·lbf) @ 4000||1992–1996|
|Roadster Limited Edition||Z1||C2/6||147 kW (200 PS; 197 bhp) @ 6000||261 N·m (193 ft·lbf) @ 4900||1990–1991|
|Roadster V8 Limited Edition||E52 Z8||F5||280 kW (381 PS; 375 bhp) @ 5800||520 N·m (380 ft·lbf) @ 3800||2002–2003|
|Roadster S||E85 Z4||E5/2||221 kW (300 PS; 296 bhp) @ 6300||362 N·m (267 ft·lbf) @ 4800||2003–2005|
An interesting variant of the M20 engine was Alpina's C2. The first C2 combined the wider bore of the M20B25 with the slightly larger crankshaft of an M20B23, to create a torquier engine of 2,552 cc. This version put out 185 PS (136 kW) and 265 N·m (195 lb·ft), 74 units were built between 1985 and 1988.
The larger yet 2.7 litre unit was introduced in February 1986 in uncatalyzed C2/1 form. This engine, sharing the dimensions of the M20B27, develops a whopping 210 PS (154 kW) at 5,800 rpm and shows what the engine was really capable of. Originally installed in the E30-based Alpina C2 2.7, with available four-wheel drive, the catalyzed C2/2 appeared in the interim C2 2.7 Kat in March 1987. This was then renamed "B3 2.7" five months later, by which time the "C2" labelled cars were discontinued. The B3 2.7 continued to be available until June 1992, in all body variants and drivetrain configurations (excepting automatics) in which the E30 was offered. Around 1988, 26 "B6"-labelled C2-engined E30s were built for export to Japan, where the B6 3.5 had a hard time passing emissions regulations.
To build each B10 BiTurbo powerunit Alpina dismantled a BMW M30 engine, replaced the stock pistons with forged Mahle units, installed two Garrett T25 water-cooled turbochargers, and added a Bosch variable boost control with range of 0.4-0.8 bar, adjustable from the driver's seat. Additional modifications helped raise the horsepower of the stock M30 engine from 155 kW/208 hp at 5700 rpm and 305 Nm/225 lb-ft at 4000 rpm to an impressive 265 kW/360 hp at 6000 rpm and 520Nm/384 lb-ft at 4000 rpm. A Getrag 290 5-speed manual transmission was specified to handle the power.
Modifications to the suspension included Alpina-spec springs and anti-roll bars. Bilstein shocks were used on front and automatic-load levelling units by Fictel & Sachs were used in the rear. Front rotors were large 13.1-inch discs from UK-based Lucas Girling, bigger even than the 12.8-inch pieces found on the E34 M5. Michelin MXX tires were standard as was BMW's Automatic Stability Control (ASC).
The company claimed a 0-100 km/h time of 5.6 sec and a top speed over 290 km/h putting it in the same league as a Ferrari Testarossa. In the September 1991 issue of Road & Track Paul Frere wrote: “For me this is the car … I think this is the best 4-door in the world.” Despite a base price tag of 146,800 DM, nearly twice the price of an E34 M5, the B10 Biturbo became the best-selling single model in Alpina history up until that point. The six year production run beginning in 1989 ended in August 1994 with 507 examples produced. Production ended with the termination of M30 motors by BMW in 1993. The final 50 M30 blocks were shipped to Alpina for use in the final 50 B10 Biturbos.
|Alpina model||BMW donor model||Alpina Engine||Power||Torque||Production|
|D10 BITURBO||E39 530d||G1||180 kW (245 PS; 241 bhp) @ 4200||500 N·m (370 ft·lbf) @ 3500||2000–2003|
|D3||E90/E91 320d||M47||147 kW (200 PS; 197 bhp) @ 4000||410 N·m (300 ft·lbf) @ 2000||2005–2008|
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to BMW Alpina.|
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- "2011 BMW ALPINA B7 Reviews, Expert Car Reviews on AOL Autos". Autos.aol.com. Retrieved 2012-06-05.
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- The online owner community for BMW ALPINAs
- Information on Alpina typewriters
- Alpina BMW 4 Series B4 BI-TURBO introduced in Tokyo Motor Show