The Alpina B6. There cannot be many cars that have the rarity value of a B6, as Alpina UK bought a mere two cars into the country. Based on the BMW F13 650i, Alpina applied its well-versed black magic to the chassis and engine, turning the already very capable donor 6 series into an even more cosseting sports coupe of the finest luxury, whilst endowing it with continental devouring firepower, enhanced handling capabilities and wrapped up in Alpina’s elegant trademark body addendum and classic wheel aesthetic.
Alpina is based in Buchloe, in the Ostallgau district of Bavaria. Originally a type writer manufacturer, Alpina first started to work on BMWs in 1962 when they developed a Weber dual carburetor for the BMW 1500. It seemed like an odd diversification, but the onset of more advanced keyboards was about to decimate the traditional type writer off the face of the planet, hence the reason that the enterprising and car mad Burkard Bovensiepen decided to take this risk. It paid of, for the automotive press was keen, and so was BMW’s then sales boss Paul G. Hahnemann, In 1964 BMW were suitably impressed to back Alpina with a full factory guarantee, cementing the relationship between both companies.
Buoyed with this success Alpina continued to develop BMWs, becoming the leading firm in its field. Motosport beckoned and they were quickly competitive, winning the 1970 European Touring Car Championship, Spa 24 hours and other domestic racing championships. Alpina had truly arrived. In 1983 they were recognised as an automobile manufacturer by the German Federal Ministry of Transport.
RHD, BMW Individual Ruby Black (X03), BMW Individual Merino leather in Platinum (ZBC8), Alpina illuminated door sill finishers (116), Alpina body kit including front chin spoiler (159C), rear splitter (158) and rear spoiler (167), Alpina decal to front spoiler (181), Akrapovič, titanium lightweight exhaust, Alpina Classic 20″ Alloy Wheels (162A), Alpina sport suspension, Sport automatic transmission (8-speed) with Alpina switch-tronic (2TB), Limited slip differential (209A), Alpina floormats (111), Alpina roundels in seatbacks, Steering wheel hand-finished in Alpina Lavalina leather with blue/green stitching (1AL2), Alpina production plaque, Automatic air conditioning (534), Ambient interior lighting, Comfort seats (456), Lumbar support for driver and front passenger (488), Front seat heating (494), Seat Ventilation (453), Oscillating Seat Base Function (455), Rear Window Sun Blind (415), Alcantara anthracite headlining (776), Heat absorbing thermal glass (356), Climate Comfort Windscreen (358), Glass sunroof (403), Comfort Access (322), Soft Close Doors (323), Professional Navigation Package and ConnectedDrive (609), Mobile Application Preparation Telephone USB Interface (6NL), TV Function (601), Bang & Olufsen Hi-Fi System (6F2), Ceramic Finish to Controls (4U1), Adaptive drive with Variable Damper Control (VDC) incl. Drive Dynamic Control (2VA), Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) incl. Dynamic, Brake Control (DBC) and Dynamic Traction Control (DTC), Adaptive LED headlights (552), High Beam Assistant (5AC), Night Vision with Pedestrian Recognition (6UK), Head-Up Display (610), Park Assist (5DF), Reversing Assist Camera (3AG), Surround View (5DL), Folding mirrors (430), Park distance control front and rear (508), Active cruise control with Stop/Go Function (5DF), Lane Change Warning System (5AG), Lane Departure Warning System (5AD), Speed Limit Display (8TH),High-gloss Shadowline exterior trim (760), Tyre Pressure Monitoring (2VB), Smoker’s Package Deletion (440), Through loading Ski Bag (464), Universal Remote Control (319), DAB Digital Radio (654).
BMW Individual are responsible for the paint on this car, and Ruby Black has to be one of their finest shades – virtually black with a stunning dark ruby tinge in the mix. The paint on this car looks lustrous and deep with very few marks to report. Alpina’s now trademark details include a subtle body kit with the evocative ALPINA text on the front chin spoiler, rear splitter and four chrome exhaust pipes gently hinting at the performance potential. This provides a smart contrast to the immaculate High Gloss Shadow Line and traditional chrome BMW kidney grills. Everything is subtly and elegantly executed.
The B6 interior is one of incredible comfort, luxury and technological prowess. The beautifully wrought leather is BMW Individual Merino Leather in Platinum. The contrast stitching and Alpina Piano Black interior trim provide a tactile finish of great quality, enhanced by the BMW option of Ceramic Finish to the controls. There is a subtle Alpina plaque affixed between the rear seats, denoting this as car number 63, and only one of two officially imported to the UK. The infotainment system is second to none and this B6 also has the Bang and Olufsen sound system – a true power house that rivals the mighty bi-turbo V8 for sound.
The interior of this BMW feels typically well built with a tactility to all of the touch points. The Merino leather is soft and remains free of marks. The rear seats look like they have rarely seen an occupant and present very cleanly indeed.
ENGINE & TRANSMISSION
It is no coincidence that Alpina’s moniker represents engine components, with both a Weber Carburettor and crankshaft on display. Every Alpina engine is a master piece and subtly massaged over the BMW equivalent. Here the engine is a 4.4 litre bi-turbo V8. It produces some 540 hp and a mighty 538 lb ft of torque. Optimised cooling and different engine management allow for these huge gains, running through a tweaked version of the BMW ZF 8 speed gearbox. The gearbox has altered software and controlled via discreet Alpina steering wheel buttons. The driving modes are also altered with the comfort setting giving a more comfortable ride over a standard 6 series and the Sport and Sport Plus modes sharpening the car up even more.
WHEELS, TYRES & BRAKES
Surely one of most recognised wheel designs in motoring history, Alpina’s 20 spoke alloy wheels epitomise the history of the brand. A full 20 inches in diameter, they are unmarked on this example, The tyres are a set of Pirelli P Zero’s, Pirelli being one of only two of Alpina’s tyre partners. The fronts run a 255/35/20 while the rears are a fulsome 285/30/20, all showing good tread.
The brakes on this example are strong and sure, giving excellent braking at all speeds.
This Alpina B6 was registered on the 02/05/2013 and supplied by Sytner Nottingham, the U.K importer for Alpina. It was serviced on the 15/04/14 at 17,606 miles, via Vines of Guildford, who also carried out the next service on 29/03/16 at 26,281 miles. Sytner Sunningdale completed the last service on the 19/02/18 at 32,427 miles.
Alpina provide a beautifully bound leather book pack, matching the quality of the interior. Finished in Alpina Blue with Green details and contrasting stitching, it holds the usual BMW manuals, with a supplementary Alpina B6 Owners handbook and Service booklet. The spare key completes the history file.
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