It’s hard not to love the new F90 BMW M5. As an all-around performance machine, it’s possibly the best car on the planet right now, with the Mercedes-AMG E63 S Estate maybe edging it if you want a wagon. The M5 is monstrously fast, has genuine sports car athletics and is easily comfortable enough to double as a luxury car. In fact, I mentioned it was my favorite car I had driven in 2018. But does the ALPINA B5 Biturbo, the M5’s softer counterpart, make a case for itself over the tire-shredding M car? In this new video from Drive Au, we find out.
The BMW M5 is a proper M Division car, with its own unique 4.4 liter twin-turbo V8 making 600 hp and 553 lb-ft of torque. It also gets an M-tuned xDrive all-wheel drive system that can switch off its front axle on the whim of the driver. It’s a bit harder and much sharper than the standard 5 Series. Though, no one would call it uncomfortable, with its sumptuous leather seats and superb damping.
However, the ALPINA B5 Biturbo isn’t trying to compete with the M5. It’s has a flavor of its own and makes a case for itself as a different alternative. It too has a 4.4 liter twin-turbo V8 but it’s based off of the M550i’s and has been tuned and tweaked by ALPINA, thanks to newer turbochargers, pistons and intake manifold, among many other things. So it also makes 600 hp, only with an M5-beating 590 lb-ft.
Like the M5, the B5 is all-wheel drive but can’t become a rear-drive tire-muncher at any time. Instead, the ALPINA B5 is about being a comfortable missile, capable of blasting across continents in ample comfort, luxury and speed. Its interior is far plusher than that of the M5, its suspension is softer and its powertrain/drivetrain tuning is more relaxed. Don’t think it can’t handle a twisty road because it can, very well. It’s just not as sharp or as athletic as the M5. Instead, it replaces that extra athleticism with comfort and quietness.
So if you want the power of an M5 but not the slightly manic personality, the ALPINA B5 is a incredible car. Personally, I’d take the M5 because I don’t think it’s much more uncomfortable and it can very easily munch miles without a single complaint of comfort, or lack thereof. However, it also has the ability to switch on and become a tire-shredding, supercar-embarrassing psychopath. Different strokes for different folks, I guess.