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by Brett Davis

Want a twin-turbo V8 5-Series but can’t wait for the new M5? Try the Alpina B5 Bi-Turbo then. It’s still powered by those fundamentals and it’s the new shape 5-Series, and, it’ll displace 373kW worth of energy through the rear tyres. So why not?

Oh, it’s an Alpina so it’s not officially on sale here. Although there are a few older model Alpinas floating around the country, this new B5 isn’t exactly available at your local BMW dealer. Still, it’s okay to dream isn’t it?

Under the bonnet there’s an all-aluminium 4.4-litre V8 that is boosted by two turbochargers. These push 14.6psi worth of cool air down the engine’s neck which equates to a whopping 700Nm of torque. This force is then transferred through an Alpina/ZF-developed eight-speed automatic gearbox. 0-100km/h comes up in just 4.7 seconds. It’s fast.

*Notice the two water-to-air intercoolers just before the inlet. This type of intercooler is more commonly seen in motorsports fields and is a lot more effective and efficient than traditional, large, air-to-air types usually found on Evolution Lancers

The best part about the package though is it uses an average of 10.8L of fuel per 100km. Compared to the just-ended E60 V10 M5, that’s a drop of 4L/100km, even though it produces the same amount of power.

Inside you’ll find bespoke Alpina touches have been fitted to the already-luxurious BMW 5-Series interior, such as the sports steering wheel complete with its own badge. There’s also Alpina’s own trademark blue back-panel inside the instrument cluster and typical burled Myrtle wood inserts throughout the dash and door trim. The Myrtle wood is sourced from the Pacific Coast in the USA and is said to be grown for these exact purposes, which sounds pretty special.

Outside the car there’s the ever-so-traditional Alpina wheels that carry a design that has been around for over 20 years. Hardly outdated though, as these measure 20 inches in diametre. There’s also subtle aerodynamic additions that help with high-speed stability and separate the package from the usual BMW 5-Series.

Alpina calls it ‘sovereign performance’. We call it, ‘niice’. Pity it’s not readily available here though.




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