Despite the similarities in performance and pricing, Alpina’s CEO is confident that the tuning brand’s luxury-focused models will complement BMW’s M range, rather than compete with them.
Speaking at the brand’s local launch at Doncaster BMW in Melbourne, company boss, Andreas Bovensiepen – son of Alpina founder, Burkhard Bovensiepen – told CarAdvice the brand’s experience in other markets makes it confident there won’t be competition between Alpina cars and BMW M cars.
“Whether they like it very sporty and goes for an [M car] or goes [for comfort] and chooses Alpina, there is no customer who is unsure or asks “what should I take?”
“It’s a complementary product here in the market and will not harm any M sales,” he added.
Above: Alpina B4
Kicking off Alpina’s range in Australia is the BMW 4 Series-based B4 BiTurbo coupe and convertible, which go toe-to-toe with the BMW M4 in terms of pricing and performance.
Starting at $160,900 for the coupe and $170,900 for the convertible, the Alpina B4 is capable of sprinting from 0-100km/h in 4.2 seconds (4.5 for the convertible) on its way to a top speed of 303km/h (301km/h convertible) – though you’ll struggle to find anywhere in Australia to experience the B4’s full potential.
Under the bonnet is a 3.0-litre twin-turbo inline six borrowed from the BMW 440i producing 301kW and 600Nm of torque.
By comparison, the BMW M4 Competition starts at a more affordable $154,900 ($165,900 convertible), produces 331kW and 550Nm of torque, and claims a 0-100km/h time of 4.0 seconds (4.3 seconds convertible).
Despite the similarities, Bovensiepen was quick to point out the differences in the different products.
“It’s not our intention to make a better BMW or M car,” he said. “Alpina cars are grand tourers, you can do long distances up to 1000km in a day and not have a sore back.”
“An M car is a great car but [it’s] very much about performance and sportiness,” he added.
Above: Alpina B4 coupe interior
Joining the B4 BiTurbo will be the BMW 3 Series-based B3 BiTurbo sedan and wagon, which use the same 301kW/600Nm 3.0-litre inline six, starting at $155,900 and $160,900 before on-road costs respectively.
“When we see the market is growing and it makes sense, then of course we are looking to bring further models. We’re starting with the B7 from now and early next year, and then why not bring in the B5 as well,” he said.
Above: The next-generation Alpina B5 has been spied at the Nurburgring race track
It hasn’t even been revealed yet, but the new Alpina B5 will be based on the recently-revealed ‘G30’ 5 Series, and prototypes believed to be the next-generation super sedan have been spied doing rounds at the Nurburgring.
Stay tuned to CarAdvice for more Alpina updates.