Appearances can be deceptive – none more so than the 200mph-plus Alpina B5 Bi-Turbo Touring.
The BMW 5 Series-based station wagon (also available as a saloon) offers a “sublime combination of performance, luxury, on-road comfort and driving pleasure”.
At £89,000 for the saloon and £91,000 for the estate, Alpina claims the four-door is the most affordable 200mph production car in the UK, while the B5 Bi-Turbo Touring (201mph) will be the fastest estate car currently on sale.
The partnership between BMW and Alpina is one of the oldest in the automotive world, stretching back more than 50 years. Unlike aftermarket tuners, Alpina works closely with BMW and all current Alpina BMWs carry a BMW-endorsed three-year/120,000 mile warranty.
At the heart of the new Alpina B5 Bi-Turbo is a 4.4-litre 600bhp twin-turbocharged petrol V8 which outputs 590lb ft of torque and powers the saloon to 205mph and 0-62mph in 3.4 seconds, with the Touring just 0.1 seconds behind.
All that power is managed via an eight-speed ZF automatic gearbox and BMW’s four-wheel drive system (a first for the Alpina B5), but thought necessary to safely handle the prodigious torque.
The B5 is also blessed with Active Rear Steering, which enhances steering response by turning the rear wheels up to 2.5 degrees the opposite way to the front wheels at low speeds and the same way at higher speeds.
The result of thousands of hours of development at Alpina’s R&D centre and on roads from Death Valley to the Arctic Circle, Alpina’s 70-strong engineering team received exceptional access to BMW design data and technical facilities.
From a quad-pipe lightweight stainless steel sports exhausts to Alpina front and rear spoilers, the B5 has received a plethora of upgrades.
“Our cars are for driving enthusiasts who value a blend off qualities that can only be delivered by immense attention to detail and a single-minded focus on one type of owner,” explains Alpina GB’s Jonathan Noy.
“The B5 Bi-Turbo is built with just one powertrain and one chassis specification, which allows our engineers to calibrate every component and every control system to work perfectly together without compromise.
“Alpina’s dynamics specialists have spent months honing the chassis, not hurling it around a race track but simply driving as customers would, on roads, enjoying every mile however fast or slow. The result is a pin-sharp driving experience combined with remarkable ride quality.”
Inside, the new B5 Bi-Turbo can be specified with a numerous range of options and leather trims, individually-crafted in Alpina’s saddlery.
Standard equipment on UK-market cars includes soft Nappa leather, ceramic-finish control surfaces, Alpina roundels on the seat backs and a rear view camera. Door sills are accented by Alpina Blue illumination of the B5 model inscriptions coordinating with interior Alpina Blue mood lighting and instruments.
The sports steering wheel is hand-finished in Lavalina leather with blue and green signature stitching to provide a luxurious feel while retaining the firm rim preferred by skilled drivers.
Exterior paint finishes include Alpina Blue or Alpina Green, which complement the full range of BMW and BMW Individual finishes, while new lightweight 20-inch forged alloy wheels are fitted, shod with specially-developed ‘ALP’ labelled Pirelli P-Zero tyres.