It’s hard to believe that less than 10 years ago, ALPINA was offering a B5 S model based on the E60/E61 5 Series that could deliver more power than the legendary V10-powered M5. But, the wizards in Buchloe managed to produce an exciting car that became a legend as well. Today, we also have the likes of the ALPINA B6 xDrive Gran Coupe sprinting faster to 100 km/h (62 mph) than the M6 Gran Coupe, yet both cars have their own fan customer base.
Based on the 545i model and using its 4.4-liter V8 to start with, the B5 S had a power output of no less than 530 HP and 725 Nm (535 lb-ft) of torque. Some pundits might say it wasn’t a fair contest as the Bovensiepen’s creation used a supercharger to get so far ahead but even so, the performance was uncanny back in the day.
Acceleration from zero to 62 mph (100 km/h) took just 4.6 seconds in sedan guise and 4.7 seconds for the Touring model while the top speed was nudging on the 200 mph (320 km/h) threshold. To do that with a car this size is still a remarkable achievement.
And while some would argue that you’d be better off with the E60/E61 M5 just for the thrill of driving a 5-liter V10, some people actually prefer the sound of a V8. That’s not to take away any of the credit of the incredible S85 engine but when it comes to taste, the old Latin ‘de gustibus non est disputandum’ saying applies perfectly.
Therefore, there was a niche market open for those looking to get a bespoke exhaust to go with the impressive engine. Italian tuner Supersprint was just one of the many aftermarket companies to offer a custom exhaust systee with a brutal sound.