Nobody wants to worry about range when storming the Autobahn.
Alpina is a factory-backed tuner of BMW vehicles, and the company has an impressive track record of making normal BMW cars feel more luxurious and go faster at the same time. Products like these get a new prefix and are sold as their own cars. For example, the BMW 8 Series Gran Coupe becomes called the BMW Alpina B8 Gran Coupe. But now BMW is moving towards electrification, and while the Alpina version of the i8 sports car never happened, one may wonder when Alpina will start tinkering with BMW's upcoming all-electric offerings. As always with small tuning companies, demand plays a massive role, and according to Alpina CEO Andreas Bovensiepen, there simply is none for an Alpina EV.
Speaking to German outfit BimmerToday, Bovensiepen was asked about the potential for an electric Alpina, to which he said, "We have customers especially in Europe who drive 30,000 to 50,000 kilometers a year. [Nine months] ago we carried out a customer survey on the subject of hybrids and BEVs (battery-electric vehicles). Our customers currently feel no demand for battery-electric models."
But why not? Simply put, an Alpina is a car you buy to enjoy. Bovensiepen continues: "This is also due to the high mileage: Alpina customers, especially in Germany, want to drive fast and accelerate hard - then, of course, range is still an issue. Our customers usually use their BMW Alpina as their first vehicle, as a "daily dream car." If you were to transfer an eight-cylinder [engine's] driving behavior to a BEV, then the range would probably be a maximum of 200 kilometers. Especially when I want to drive fast, that simply doesn't work. That's why we are deliberately holding back. The market is not yet ready for our customers."
But what about BMW M's upcoming electric offerings? Well, Bovensiepen says that "many things are conceivable" but that with limited resources, Alpina wants to firstly build what its regular customers actually want, rather than trying to lure in new buyers who don't understand the brand. But if Alpina's XB7 (an upgraded BMW X7) does very well in Europe, then the CO2 limits that Alpina has negotiated with the EU commission may be approached or exceeded, and in that case, Alpina "might have to offer a hybrid or a battery-electric vehicle in the medium term". But as things stand, there is no plan for an electric Alpina in the short term.