BMW started selling some Alpina models directly through its dealerships in the US, even introducing the first Alpina SUV to the US market this year with . Alpina's latest creation is the B8 Gran Coupe, which is based on and takes the place of the old B6 Gran Coupe in the lineup, and it's just as sweet as you'd expect.is a Bavarian company that has specialized in tuning BMWs since the 1970s, fitting them with extensive mechanical upgrades and fantastic styling touches. In the late 2000s
Like with other Alpina models the B8's styling changes are subtle but extremely effective -- the 8 Series Gran Coupe already is one of the best-looking cars in BMW's lineup, and the B8 is even hotter. It gains redesigned air intakes and a new branded splitter up front, a new rear diffuser housing four large exhaust tips, and a lip spoiler on the decklid. There are also 21-inch wheels with Alpina's ubiquitous multispoke design that cover larger Brembo brakes with blue calipers, and the B8 is available in Alpina's unique blue and green metallic paint colors.
Interior changes are minimal too. The illuminated door sills and crystal iDrive controller have Alpina branding, there's a special badge on the center console and the digital gauge cluster even has its own design. The B8 also gets Alpina-specific wood trim. Otherwise the interior looks the same as the standard 8 Series, with a tech-y and understated design and a standard 10.25-inch center screen. But if you're a weirdo who isn't into Alpina's blue and green paint and unique wood trim, the B8 is available with all of the standard 8 Series' color, trim and leather options.
The B8 uses a modified version of BMW's twin-turbo 4.4-liter V8, the same unit in cars likeand . Here it produces 612 horsepower and 590 pound-feet of torque, splitting the difference between the 600-hp standard M8 and the 617-hp . Like those other V8-powered 8 Series models, the B8 comes standard with an eight-speed automatic transmission and an xDrive all-wheel drive system. BMW says the B8 will hit 60 mph in 3.3 seconds, slightly slower than the M8, but it'll reach a top speed of 201 mph, which is 11 mph faster than the M's maximum.
Alpina gave the B8 a stainless-steel sport exhaust system with controllable active flaps, the transmission has its own tuning and there's a limited-slip rear differential. Alpina also made a number of modifications to the adaptive suspension and chassis for a comfortable ride and precise handling, like Eibach springs, stiffer support mounts and reinforced sway bars. The B8 has rear-wheel steering as standard, too, and Alpina has also adjusted its tuning.
The B8 comes with a ton of stuff as standard in addition to the special Alpina bits. Every B8 gets a panoramic sunroof, soft-close doors, a power liftgate, adaptive LED headlights, four-zone automatic climate control, a head-up display, wireless charging, a Wi-Fi hotspot, gesture controls, heated front and rear seats (as well as heated armrests, a heated steering wheel and ventilated front seats), lane-departure warning and automated emergency braking. Options include smaller 20-inch wheels with all-season tires (and a lower top speed), a carbon-fiber roof, chrome exterior trim and two different driver-assist packages with features like adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go and lane-change assist.
BMW says the B8 Gran Coupe will reach dealers in the US later this spring. It starts at $140,895 including destination, a $9,900 premium compared with the M8 Gran Coupe and $31,000 more than the M850i Gran Coupe. Given that the B8 is the best-looking version of the 8 Series and will likely be the best to drive as well, that seems like a fair price to pay.