UK order books have opened up for the Alpina B5 Bi-Turbo, with the manufacturer dubbing it the “world’s fastest production estate”.
Prices for the car, which is based on the latest BMW 5-Series and boasts a top speed in excess of 200mph, begin at £89,000 for the saloon.
As the name suggests, the B5 Bi-Turbo has a twin-turbocharged petrol engine. The 4.4-litre V8 unit is a heavily modified version of the one powering the BMW 750i, here developing 600bhp and 800Nm of torque while coupled to an eight-speed automatic gearbox. As a result, the estate can go from 0-60mph in 3.5 seconds and up to 205mph.
In a first for the B5 model line, which stretches back to 2005, a four-wheel-drive system features on the car — although 90 per cent of torque can be sent to the rear wheels to “ensure a traditional sporting feel”.
Other mechanical changes over the standard 5-Series include larger brakes, bespoke front wishbone suspension and a new intercooler system for improved engine cooling.
Exterior changes to distinguish the estate as an Alpina, as well as improve the aerodynamics, include a revised front bumper and rear spoiler. It also has 20-inch alloy wheels.
— ALPINA Automobiles (@ALPINA_GmbH) November 23, 2017
Inside, the car has “an almost limitless range of options”, says the German manufacturer, with standard equipment in the UK including Nappa leather upholstery and ceramic-finish trim, a rear-view camera, Alpina badging on the seats and a leather steering wheel.
Alongside BMW’s standard range of colours, customers can opt for either of two bespoke colours – Alpina Blue or Alpina Green – with decal sets also available.
Although to the untrained eye the result may seem like little more than a modified BMW vehicle, the German Ministry of Transport recognises Alpina as a separate vehicle manufacturer.
Founded in 1965, Alpina works closely with BMW in developing its vehicles. A large part of vehicle production takes place in the latter’s factories before the cars are sent to the former for their finishing touches. The low-volume manufacturer sells fewer than 100 cars annually in the UK.