Published on March 27th, 2021 | by Joshua Chin0
Alpina B8 Gran Coupe Is The M8’s Cooler, Subtler Alternative
Leave it to Alpina to turn up the cool factor on BMW’s flagship performance GT car.
It is not all that often we hear from Alpina, but whenever we do it is usually something rather special. Such as in the case of its most recent announcement regarding the launch of its new B8 Gran Coupe.
Essentially the subtler, cooler alternative to BMW’s very own M8 Gran Coupe, the main thing worth highlighting right off the bat here is that this Alpina is no less powerful as compared its M-badged counterpart. Despite being based on the lowlier (if there was ever such a thing) M850i, the 4.4 litre twin turbocharged V8 under the hood of the B8 still manages to pump out 612 hp and 800 Nm of torque.
Or to put it in another sense, just 4 hp shy of BMW’s flagship M car.
In order to achieve such substantial power (+89 hp) and torque (+57 Nm) bump over the standard M850i, the Buchloe-based tuning house has significantly ‘optimised [the] turbocharging and cooling systems’ in the B8. A specialised Alpina stainless-steel sports active exhaust system also finds its way onto the car, which allows for the V8 to breathe better and roar louder.
Aside from the mods to the engine, Alpina has also been busy fettling around 8-speed ZF automatic transmission. Featuring both hardware and software enhancements for better shifting dynamics and to cope with the extra torque, this uprated transmission is a significant player in punting the B8 to 100 km/h from a standstill in just 3.3 seconds and onto a top speed of 201 mph.
As for other performance mods made elsewhere under the skin of the B8, this particular Alpina adds a rear limited-slip differential and active all-wheel steering to BMW’s existing xDrive all-wheel drive system. Beefier Eibach springs all round and a host of other associated suspension mods are also featured on the four-door grand tourer in order to provide ‘first-class long-distance ride comfort with precise handling characteristics’.
To add to that, huge Brembo brakes with blue-painted four-pot callipers make an appearance behind the 21-inch 20-spoke Alpina alloys. Alloys which are incidentally wearing specially developed Pirelli rubber with noise-cancelling technology built into it.
Continuing on the subject of those alloys and speaking more about the other visual distinctions on the B8, it gains a subtly different front bumper with larger air intakes and the obligatory Alpina script on its lip. While moving round the back, there is an equally subtly different rear bumper featuring a quad-oval tailpipes which complement the integrated lip spoiler on the tailgate.
Stepping inside, the B8 gains illuminated treadplates and bespoke infotainment displays on the twin-screen dashboard. An iDrive controller in crystal glass with a lasered Alpina logo and a LAVALINA leather hand-stitched steering wheel also makes an appearance in its plush leather-lined cabin.
The Alpina B8 Gran Coupe is currently available to order now in Europe and North America. Starting at a price of £134,950 (RM 772,000) in the UK, it puts this ‘bahnstormer directly in line price-wise with the M8 Gran Coupe Competition.
PRESS RELEASE: Following the success of the BMW ALPINA B7 Sedan and XB7 Sports Activity Vehicle, ALPINA is expanding its offering in the premium segment with the new BMW ALPINA B8 Gran Coupé. It combines the highest levels of performance, dynamics and comfort in a bold and beautiful design. The new ALPINA B8 Gran Coupé is truly an exclusive automobile that appeals to all your senses.
Power to spare: The 4.4-liter V8 engine with bi-turbo charging produces an impressive 612 hp. The maximum torque of 590 lb.-ft is available from just 2,000 rpm for power delivery at all times.
Explosive driving performance: From a standing start, the BMW ALPINA B8 accelerates to 60 mph in 3.3 seconds and reaches ¼ mile in just 11.5 seconds. The maximum speed is 201 mph.
Tailored V8 sound: The specially developed ALPINA sport exhaust system is a stainless-steel wonder. Providing both visual and auditory delight, it is designed to reduce backpressure, and features the bold, natural sound of a powerful V8 engine. The driver can influence the sound by switching between COMFORT and SPORT mode, which controls the active exhaust flaps.
Fascinating dynamics, superior driving experience: The BMW ALPINA B8’s chassis and suspension set-up is harmoniously balanced, combining superior long-distance travel comfort with precise handling characteristics. The adaptive dampers provide for a wide range of driving experiences, ranging from COMFORT+ to SPORT+.
Precision design: The B8 Gran Coupé’s appearance is distinguished by elegant lines that masterfully emphasize the vehicle’s flowing silhouette. The athletic character is further emphasized by the ALPINA aerodynamic components. The ALPINA CLASSIC 21-inch forged wheels with their minimalistic 20 spoke design are an unmistakable, exclusive ALPINA identifier.
Look, touch, and feel: The interior design reflects the luxurious comfort of the BMW ALPINA B8 in every detail. High-quality materials, an extensive range of standard equipment and exclusive ALPINA details contribute to an exquisite interior.
SUPERIOR PERFORMANCE: 4.4-LITER V8 ENGINE WITH BITURBO CHARGING
The eight-cylinder engine of the BMW ALPINA B8 is characterized by a dynamic and smooth power delivery and offers excellent responsiveness over the entire rpm range.
The 4.4-liter V8 engine with bi-turbo charging achieves a maximum power output of 612 hp. The maximum torque of 590 lb.-ft is available from just 2,000 rpm and maintained up to 5,000 rpm. The superior power delivery of the engine translates directly into stunning performance: from a standing start, the BMW ALPINA B8 accelerates to 60 mph in 3.3 seconds. It completes the ¼ mile sprint in just 11.5 seconds. The maximum speed is 201 mph.
The engine’s power characteristics and superb throttle response are the result of optimized turbocharging and cooling systems, not to mention ALPINA’s instantly recognizable throttle harmony. Two twin-scroll turbochargers facilitate the near-instantaneous conversion of exhaust gas energy into boost pressure, even at low engine speeds for early maximum torque. The ALPINA cooling system ensures thermal stability and optimum efficiency of the high-performance engine, even under continuous high loads. It consists of three external coolant coolers, an enlarged transmission oil cooler and a low-temperature cooling system (air/water/air) with ALPINA’s specific intercoolers with 50 percent more cooling surface than the units found in the BMW M850i xDrive Gran Coupe. The optimized cross section of the coolant feed enables maximum throughput.
The ALPINA sport exhaust system is notable for its nuanced, harmonious V8 soundtrack: sophisticated and restrained in COMFORT mode or emotional and sonorous in SPORT mode. The two twin tailpipes, finished in polished stainless steel, are elegantly integrated in the rear apron in typical ALPINA fashion.
POWER TRANSMISSION WITHOUT COMPROMISE: 8-SPEED SPORT AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION
The 8-Speed Sport Automatic Transmission with ALPINA SWITCH-TRONIC converts the high engine output into superb driving performance. The latest 8HP76 transmission generation has undergone substantial development work in cooperation with the transmission specialists at ZF. Depending on the selected drive mode, shift dynamics have been raised to a whole new level without compromising on the smooth shift comfort that ALPINA is renowned for.
A high-performance hydrodynamic torque converter with reinforced internals is used to reliably transmit the engine’s high torque output. An aluminum transmission oil sump ensures the system is optimally cooled. The advanced turbine torsional damper absorbs drivetrain vibrations noticeably enhancing driving comfort.
Specific transmission shift strategies are available for different driving situations. In SPORT mode, shift points are optimized for driving performance and gear shifts are noticeably dynamic. The COMFORT mode allows for relaxed cruising at low engine rpms even when travelling at highway speeds but remains responsive thanks to the instant availability of 590 lb.-ft of torque. MANUAL mode offers super-fast shifts taking mere milliseconds.
PRECISION DYNAMICS AND COMFORT: THE ALPINA SPORT SUSPENSION
Countless test miles were completed on Europe’s most demanding test tracks during the development of the BMW ALPINA B8’s sport suspension system. The result is a refined suspension and chassis set-up that combines first-class long-distance ride comfort with precise handling characteristics. The BMW ALPINA B8 impresses in a myriad of driving situations with its harmonious, balanced chassis and a high sense of security.
Front axle struts with hydro mounts enhance the ride comfort and work in combination with Eibach springs to guarantee balanced suspension characteristics. Stiffer suspension strut support mounts provide greater vehicle stability during dynamic lane changes, for example. Reinforced sway bars on the front axle and stiffer lower wishbone mounts result in excellent lateral dynamic properties.
The Integral Active Steering system offers direct steering response with exceptional feedback and improves overall agility. The Active Kinematics Control System from ZF enables the wheels of the rear axle to pivot a maximum of 2.3° left or right. At low speeds, the rear axle steers opposed to the front axle for increased agility and dynamic handling. Conversely, at higher speeds the rear axle steers “with” (congruent to) the front axle for maximum directional stability. The behavior of the entire system, as with all driving systems on board the B8, has been fine-tuned precisely by ALPINA.
The intelligent BMW xDrive all-wheel drive system ensures an equally dynamic and effortless transmission of power on to the road. A rear axle limited-slip differential lets the BMW ALPINA B8 tap into its full dynamic capabilities, especially when cornering: a traction-dependent torque distribution increases vehicle stability when entering the corner and enables a more agile vehicle behavior when exiting the corner.
TAILOR-MADE STANCE: WHEELS & TIRES
The ultra-high-performance tires specially developed for the BMW ALPINA B8, are available in sizes 245/35ZR21 on the front axle and 285/3 ZR21 on the rear axle. In cooperation with the tire experts at Pirelli, the tires are specially adapted to the vehicle concept of the BMW ALPINA B8. The Pirelli Noise Cancelling System fitted to the front tires improves acoustic comfort.
The 21″ wheels feature the brand’s classic design of 20 minimalistic spokes. A lockable wheel hub cover with the ALPINA emblem underlines the flawless appearance of these beautifully designed, weight-optimized forged wheels. The ALPINA CLASSIC 20″ forged wheel is also available for winter and all-season tires in a 20 spoke design without a wheel hub cover.
The ALPINA brake system can easily be recognized by its blue brake calipers bearing a white ALPINA lettering. Four-piston fixed brake calipers from Brembo with 15.6″ diameter brake discs on the front axle and floating brake calipers with 15.7″ diameter brake discs on the rear axle provide high safety reserves and thermodynamic stability, even under high loads.
FLOWING LINES, MODERN ROOM COMFORT: DESIGN & EQUIPMENT
The B8 Gran Coupé is striking in appearance, with an elegant, flowing silhouette. The aerodynamically optimized ALPINA exterior components endow the BMW ALPINA B8 with exclusive aesthetics.
The large air intakes on the ALPINA front apron ensure that the high-performance engine is supplied with sufficient cooling air flow. The ALPINA rear apron with a black diffuser insert takes up the precise contours of the body. The Coupé’s sweeping silhouette is extended by a subtle ALPINA rear spoiler lip.
The ALPINA Blue Metallic and ALPINA Green Metallic paint finishes are exclusively reserved for BMW ALPINA automobiles and add an elegant and exquisite touch also to the BMW ALPINA B8. There is also a wide variety of BMW and BMW Individual paint finishes available to choose from.
The interior epitomizes the prestigious standard of luxury of the current BMW 8 Series model generation: The Gran Coupé offers exceptional interior comfort and impresses with its combination of the finest craftsmanship and premium materials. Elegant ALPINA details, such as illuminated ALPINA door sills or the iDrive controller in crystal glass with a lasered ALPINA logo, as well as the standard ALPINA interior trim in Walnut Anthracite high-gloss, set exclusive accents. Each ALPINA steering wheel is intricately hand-finished with natural, untreated LAVALINA leather – for an incomparable tactile experience on every journey.
The extensive standard equipment of the BMW ALPINA B8 reflects the high ALPINA standards of comfort. The standard equipment includes multi-functional seats, ventilated front seats, seat and steering wheel heating, BMW Individual extended Merino leather upholstery as well as a leather-covered instrument panel and an Anthracite Alcantara Headliner. The standard panoramic glass sunroof contributes to a light and airy atmosphere in the interior. The standard Harman Kardon surround sound system offers a first-class sound experience. The standard Icon Adaptive LED Headlights with Laserlight offer super high intensity and substantially better performance than conventional light sources, and their detailed technical design represents an innovation to relish. Leading BMW navigation, communication, infotainment and driver assistance systems are also included as standard in the BMW ALPINA B8. The full-color digital instrument display offers two ALPINA tachometer designs which change between COMFORT and SPORT mode.