Alpina gives the BMW M4 a run for its money with its suitably powerful B4 Bi-Turbo coupe.
Most car manufacturers have one tuning option for making a car that bit more special. BMW has two. Alpina has unveiled the B4 Bi-Turbo, a souped-up version of the new 4 Series that looks set to give the mighty M4 Coupé and M3 Saloon something to fear.
The Alpina B4 Bi-Turbo uses the 4 Series as a basis, including the top-end 3.0-litre straight-six petrol engine from the 335i. But Alpina being Alpina, the single turbo has been replaced by a twin-turbo system to up the ante.
Stick your foot down and the B4 Bi-Turbo kicks out 410hp at peak, which is only 23bhp less than the M4 Coupe and M3 Saloon. Torque is 600Nm, which puts its 550Nm M siblings to shame.
0 to 62mph takes 4.2 seconds for the saloon and 4.5 seconds for the convertible – a mere tenth of a second slower than the M division offerings. It is, in fact, faster if you opt for the four-wheel drive B4 Bi-Turbo, taking just 4 seconds to reach 62mph. Sadly it’s left-hand drive only for this particular model.
Another victory for the Alpina B4 Bi-Turbo comes in the form of efficiency. A claimed 37mpg and CO2 emissions of 177g/km just beat the new M’s 34mpg and 194g/km.
Alpina spent two years developing the B4 Bi-Turbo and it shows. 50 engineers used the time to revise the gearbox, body, wheels, tyres, aerodynamics, steering, suspension and just about anything else you can think of in a bid to eke out every last drop of performance.
Extras unique to the car include 20-inch alloy wheels in the traditional Alpina multi-spoke style, a four outlet exhaust with an ‘intelligent’ acoustic valve, Alpina’s famous blue or green paintjob and a model plaque in the centre console to signify which car you own of the production run.
An 8-speed automatic gearbox, Adaptive M Sport Suspension, leather upholstery, climate control, Bi-Xenon headlights, electrically-adjustable heated sports seats, luxury floor mats, Alpina steering wheel hand-stitched in Lavalina leather represent a generous list of standard features.
On the subject of the Alpina B4 Bi-Turbo convertible, you can shut the roof in 20 seconds at up to 11mph, so no need to come to a complete halt.
A real alternative to the M, then? Perhaps, but you will have to pay a little extra for all that Alpina goodness. Prices start from £58,950 and £62,950 for the coupé and convertible, respectively, which is a little more expensive than the £56,635 M4 Saloon, although a few extras would see the gap disappear. Plus there’s the matter of servicing costs, which are usually more expensive for M cars.