By Stewart Smith on 2018-01-03 - Stewart was the former motoring editor of the Coventry Telegraph and is now a freelance contributor to Eurekar. He is based in Scotland and specialises in First Drive reviews.
WITH a top speed beyond 200mph, this is the stunning new Alpina BMW B5 Bi-Turbo Touring which is expected to be the world's fastest production estate car.
It offers a combination of comfort, luxury and ultra-high performance and is available in the UK from £91,000 with a saloon version coming in at £89,000.
The B5Bi-Turbo sets a new price point for entry to the 200mph club and the cars are powered by Alpina's 608bhp V8, first seen in the B7Bi-Turbo launched last year.
Both have BMW warranty support and are available with an almost limitless range of bespoke Alpina interior finishes crafted at the company's saddlery in Buchloe, Germany.
The new models are the result of thousands of hours of development at Alpina's R&D centre and on roads from Death Valley to the Arctic Circle.
The Alpina B5 Bi-Turbo is an evolution of the latest (G30) BMW 5-Series, which provides the company with a state-of-the-art, high-technology development platform.
The heart of the new range is Alpina's substantially revised version of BMW's N63TU2, 4.4-litre V8. To increase the power and torque particular attention has been paid to airflow optimisation, with a new wide-bore intake system providing shorter intake paths and optimised radii to allow near-instant throttle response.
It comes with an eight-speed automatic transmission alongside a host of modifications that include strengthened gear clusters and a larger torque converter.
Alpina's work with transmission supplier ZF is another reason for the exceptional acceleration of the new B5 Bi-Turbo. The new 205mph B5Bi-Turbo saloon will hit 60mph in 3.4seconds, with the estate car just 0.1seconds behind.
Power is delivered to the road by BMW's four wheel drive system and another first for an Alpina B5 is active rear steering, which enhances steering response by turning the rear wheels up to 2.5degrees the opposite way to the front wheels at low speeds and the same way at higher speeds.
Inside, the new B5 Bi-Turbo can be specified with a 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.
Alpina Burkard Bovensiepen KG was established on January 1, 1965 in Kaufbeuren in Bavaria. Two years later it adopted the now-famous badge featuring a twin-choke downdraught carburettor and a crankshaft on a shield - a symbol of the company's dedication to high end engineering.
Although today the company is focussed largely on road cars, its ethos has been formed by decades of racing success with a driver roster that includes Derek Bell, James Hunt, Jacky Ickx, Niki Lauda, Brian Muir and Hans Stuck.
Alpina is now regarded as one of the world's leading manufacturers of high-performance luxury automobiles, selling on every continent yet still in numbers small enough to allow each car to be bespoke. Fewer than 100 cars a year are sold in the UK.
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