Alpina launches 201mph B8 Gran Coupe

25th March 2021
Bob Murray

BMW will sell you a very nice M8 Gran Coupe thank you very much: a top-of-the-range sporting number to Competition spec in the UK with BMW’s most powerful road car engine ever under the bonnet delivering supercar-rivalling performance. So, follow that, Alpina…

They have, and this is it: the B8 Gran Coupe, unveiled this week by the quintessential BMW tuning outfit.


What do you get if you avoid the M and go for the B version of BMW’s flagship sporting four-door? Well you might not get the signature Alpina body stripes any more (though they will probably put them on if you insist), but of course you do get the equally signature 20-spoke forged alloys: an instant identifier to those in the know.

For roughly £15,000 more than the BMW you expect something more than just new wheels. Do you get it? As is Alpina’s way, the upgrading is all-embracing but subtle and enhances rather than replaces for what are, on paper at least, often marginal gains. That’s the Alpina way and has been since 1965 when it first started making Bimmers go better and earning for itself an enviable reputation as a driver’s car.


The engine is the heart: a hand-assembled version of BMW’s top road-car engine, the twin turbocharged 4.4-litre V8. In the BMW to M8 Competition spec (the only one we get in the UK) the engine delivers 625PS (466kW). And the B8? 621PS (457kW). So slightly down. You want a power race? Not Alpina’s game. Alpina has squeezed a little more torque out of the V8 than the M division manages, though: the M8 has 750Nm (555lb ft), the B8 800Nm (592lb ft), and peaking from just 2,000rpm.

Does it make it quicker? It does not, not on 0-62mph anyway. BMW claim 3.2 seconds for its M8 and Alpina 3.4 seconds for the B8. Not great then when your mates point that out in the pub, but in the real world of high performance, far from the most important thing. Alpina has always been about the delivery and the feel rather than just the numbers.


And there is one number the BMW M8 cannot match. Alpina has let its car off the leash so it can run all the way up to 201mph, whereas BMW reins back the M8 to 155mph. There are other luxury four-door, four-seaters with a top end like that, but not many.

Running gear ingredients are the same: all-wheel-drive, electronic diff, adaptive dampers, a range of drive modes and eight-speed Sport Automatic transmission. Alpina doesn’t specify what it has done to them all, just asserting that the suspension set-up is “harmoniously balanced, combining superior long-distance travel comfort with precise handling characteristics”. You need to have driven Alpinas to know the potential of that statement.

Otherwise it’s all pretty familiar, all still with strong BMW character but lifted by discreet Alpina details and, inside, special leather along with more trim and equipment options.


The cars are all finished off in Buchloe, Germany, where Burkard Bovensiepen first set up his company in the 1960s. The engines are hand-assembled there but fitted by BMW on the 8 Series production line. The cars are sold by BMW dealers and come with standard BMW warranty; Alpina today is as close to the factory as it is possible to get without actually being part of it.

Price? The new B8 Gran Coupe is available to order now from £134,950 – £15k up on the M8 Competition. Which would you choose? The BMW is fab but never forget Alpinas have often been fabber…

  • Alpina

  • B8

  • BMW

  • M8

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