Alpina celebrates 50th anniversary

BMW tuner Alpina turns 50 years old in 2015. To celebrate, its given itself a brace of limited-run Edition 50 specials.

The B5 Bi-Turbo and B6 Bi-Turbo Edition 50 models start life as a 5- and 6-Series, respectively. Both come with a 4.4-litre, twin-turbo V8, tuned from the 533bhp to a considerable 592bhp.

Add in 590lb/ft of torque, and these two-ton behemoths run from 0-62mph in 4.2 seconds and on to over 200mph.

Both channel their power to the rear wheels only, via an eight-speed automatic gearboxes. Alpinas are traditionally rather more… gentlemanly than their BMW M cousins, but with that kind of power and limited-slip differential, they’ll be able to act like as a hooligan as anything else you care to think of.

Still, the emphasis is on comfort as well as speed, so there’s a bespoke suspension set-up with Alpina’s own adaptive dampers. The stability control uses bespoke mapping, and the aero has been massaged, giving more neutral handling and increasing high-speed stability.

20-inch wheels in Alpina’s signature multi-spoke design house 395mm brakes gripped by four-piston calipers. A titanium exhaust by Akrapovic produces a suitably stirring soundtrack.

The deeper bumpers and side skirts and rear spoiler are typically subtle. And the interior is beautifully crafted – all Edition 50 cars comes with a ‘Heritage’ interior, featuring green leather seat inserts with yellow stitching. Pretty much the entire contents of BMW’s gadget cupboard comes as standard.

The B6 comes as a coupe or convertible, while the B5 is available as a saloon or, our pick, an estate. After all, what’s not to love about a discreet, luxurious, massively powerful, 204mph wagon?

Just 50 examples of each will be built. Prices range from around £68,000 to £86,000. That, incidentally, is less than the M5 and M6 cost in the UK. Though there’s no word on UK prices, yet.

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