by Jay Traugott
For the first time, Alpina has laid its hands on the BMW 8 Series and the result is everything you'd expect from the German manufacturer who's been produceding high-performance BMWs for decades. Meet the 2022 BMW Alpina B8 Gran Coupe, an elegant-looking 8 Series Gran Coupe with several distinct design changes, an M8-rivaling output, and a thunderous exhaust.
BMW directly supplies Alpina with vehicles, which then receive heavy doses of modification at the latter's facility in Buchloe, Germany. Compared to the regular 8 Series M850i Gran Coupe it's based on, the B8 features an upgraded twin-turbo eight-cylinder engine, unique wheel designs, exterior enhancements, and an even more luxurious interior. None of this comes cheap, but the B8 is special and BMW will have no problems finding buyers once sales get underway.
|ALPINA B8 Gran Coupe xDrive||
4.4L Twin-Turbo V8 Gas
At first glance, the B8 looks a lot like an 8 Series Gran Coupe but upon closer inspection the differences are clear. Up front are larger air intakes for improved engine cooling and there's a redesigned rear apron with a black diffuser. Both front and rear fascias have been tweaked. A rear lip spoiler is standard, as are the 21-inch Alpina Classic 20-spoke wheels wrapped in high-performance non-runflat tires. A set of 20-inch winter-ready wheels are available with all-season rubber. Other standard exterior items are a panoramic sunroof and LED headlights with Laserlight.
Blue Metallic and Green Metallic are the only exterior colors offered. The 'Alpina' badge can be found in a few locations, specifically on the front lip and beneath the LED taillights.
The M850i already comes with a brilliant interior and Alpina's special touches make it even better. Occupants will find illuminated Alpina door sills, the iDrive knob controller encased in crystal glass with an Alpina logo, and an abundance of Walnut Anthracite high-gloss trim throughout the cabin.
Even the steering wheel has been hand-finished with untreated Lavalina leather. The list of standard equipment is impressive: multi-function seats, ventilated front seats, BMW Individual Merino leather upholstery, a leather-covered instrument panel, and an Anthracite Alcantara headliner. A Harmon Kardon surround sound system promises top audio quality. Alpina logos are scattered throughout the cabin as well.
The dashboard design and layout remain unchanged compared to the M850i. BMW's navigation system, infotainment, and all driver-assist systems are carried over. The full-color digital instrument display, however, does incorporate Alpina's own tachometer designs.
Under the hood lies the same 4.4-liter twin-turbo V8 found in the M850i and M8. For this application, it produces 612 horsepower and 590 lb-ft of torque, surpassing the output of the M850i's 523 hp and just below the M8's 617 hp (with the Competition Package). A ZF-sourced eight-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive are standard.
Expect brisk acceleration with a 0-60 mph time of 3.3 seconds and a quarter-mile time clocked at 11.5 seconds. Top speed reaches 201 mph, though it drops to 168 mph with all-season tires.
The Alpina has its own stainless steel sport exhaust system that features active exhaust flaps controlled by the driver. The sport suspension underwent significant testing on twisty tracks and Alpine mountain roads. Compared to the non-Alpina 8 Series variants, there are stiffer strut support mounts, reinforced front axle sway bars, and stiffer lower wishbone mounts. Alpina's brake system is easily noticed by the blue brake calibers. Four-piston Brembos are at all four corners, measuring 15.6-inches up front and 15.7-inches at the rear.
As we've said, the 2022 BMW Alpina B8 Gran Coupe isn't cheap. Your local BMW dealer will kindly ask for $139,900, not including the $995 destination fee. Still, this is slightly less dough than M8 Competition Gran Coupe's $144,000 base price. The M850i, by the way, also crosses the six-figure threshold with a price of $108,900. Deliveries will get underway in late spring.
The B8's most direct competition, somewhat ironically, is the BMW M850i and M8 GC. Neither Audi nor Mercedes-Benz offers something comparable to BMW's longstanding relationship with Alpina. That's what makes every Alpina-modified model so special. Customers not committed to any specific brand should also consider the Audi S7 and RS7, and Mercedes-Benz CLS and Mercedes-AMG Four-Door series.