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Alpina's M6 alternative revealed

2011-09-05 08:25

ALPINE STYLE: Desire an elegant, yet indecently quick, four-seater German soft-top? This B6 should be perfect.

Vehicle Specs
Manufacturer Alpina
Model B6
Engine 4.4-litre, twin-turbo V8
Power 378kW
Torque 700Nm
BMW performance motoring fans who (simply) can’t wait another few months for the new M6 now find themselves with a fine alternative in the latest offering from renowned BMW tuner Alpina.

The Bucloe-based concern has been racing BMW products for nearly four decades and has enjoyed German TUF recognition as a manufacturer since 1983. In that time Alpina’s built its reputation around a portfolio of tasteful styling and trim upgrades, backed by impeccably engineered technical modifications.

Alpina’s latest offering is the B6 Biturbo convertible, a car that features minimal styling changes contrasted with some significant powertrain modifications, it’s essentially an aftermarket M6 alternative for those who prefer their superfast 6-Series BMW convertible with more exclusive Alpina, as opposed to M-division, badging.

Although Alpina’s coy about exact details (the B6’s only supposed to go on display at the 2011 Frankfurt auto show, opening  September 13), this modified 6-Series will have a new (composite) front splitter, custom-crafted exhaust ends and signature turbine style Alpina alloy wheels.

CUSTOM TURBOCHARGING SOLUTION...

It's styling package might be subtle, but, mechanically, though, the modifications are quite extensive.

Courtesy of custom-made Honeywell-Garrett turbochargers, the 4.4-litre direct-injection BMW V8 powering the B6 has peak outputs of 378kW/700Nm.

Each turbocharger feeds an individual bank of four cylinders

BMW’s reverse-port flow 4.4 bi-turbo V8’s 78kW power gain in B6 trim (up from 300kW in the factory 650i) is impressive, yet remains well shy of the new M5’s 412kW.

M5-humbling pace is not the B6’s raison d'être though - although Alpina claims it is good for dispatching the benchmark 0-100km/h in 4.8sec before powering on to a top speed of 307km/h.

Alpina’s marketing rationale is to offer something approaching (not eclipsing) future F12/13 M6 levels of performance with a rewarding, instead of challenging, driving experience. To this end Alpina’s partnered with ZF, which designed and manufactures the new eight-speed automatic transmission driving BMW’s F10 5 Series cars.

Channelling the B6’s power to the rear wheels is a specially adapted version of the new eight-speed automatic transmission which features a more urgent shift regime intended to optimise the increased engine output when required.

If you like your 6-Series performance substantial, yet subtle, this B6 could be more to your tastes than BMW's forthcoming M6...

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