Still can’t decide which three cars deserve a spot in your Dream Garage? Well, Internet, here’s a serious contender that – spoiler alert – most definitely occupies a space in mine. It is of course the updated Alpina B5, which is based on the recently facelifted BMW 5 Series. More specifically, the already hugely fast M550i.
The pre-facelift B5 had a nice, round 600hp. But thanks to an ECU tweak and better cooling, the new car’s 4.4-litre twin-turbo V8 makes 620hp and 800Nm. Aided by xDrive all-wheel drive and a fettled eight-speed auto, the sedan takes just 3.4secs to reach 100km/h from rest and can hit 330km/h. The Touring – which, let’s face it, is the one you really want – is only marginally slower. 0-100km/h takes 3.6secs and the top speed is a still absurd 323km/h.
Chassis upgrades include Alpina-spec adaptive dampers and firmer springs. The active roll stabilisation and four-wheel steering systems have been retuned, while massive brakes hide behind familiar 20-inch many-spoke Alpina alloys. Even beefier brakes and a mechanical limited-slip diff are options.
Still a proper Q-car, too. The front bumper has bigger air intakes this time around for better cooling, but on the whole the B5 is by some margin the most subtle 320km/h car around. Delete the stripes and badges, and you could as easily be looking at a 520d M Sport. Inside it’s as per the new 5 Series, albeit with lashings of high-spec leather.
Those who value range before outright performance take note – Alpina has also updated its diesel-powered 5 Series. The D5 S, which is also available as a sedan or Touring, is mostly the same as the B5 save for the engine.
The tri-turbo, mild-hybrid 3.0-litre diesel offers up 408hp (and 800Nm) for 0-100km/h in 4.4 seconds and a top speed of 286km/h (4.6 seconds and 283km/h for the Touring).
STORY Tom Harrison