While gorgeous, the BMW Z8 never really received a ton of praise for its driving dynamics. I’m not sure there’s ever been a set of eyes that didn’t like the way the Z8 looked, inside and out, but it received its fair share of criticism for how it drove. The same can be said for the ALPINA V8 Roadster, which was based off of the Z8. But was that criticism deserved? Driving it now, is it actually really good to drive?
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In this new review from Jalopnik (both written and video), we get to check out the ALPINA V8 Roadster on the track at BMW’s Performance Driving School in Spartangburg, South Carolina.
One of the key points of the review is to talk about the car’s criticism. Back when it first launched, its most famous critic was Jeremy Clarkson, who slammed the car in an episode of Top Gear. Clarkson had no issue admitted the car was beautiful but he was disappointed in its inability to drive as sporty as it looked. Nor was is as comfortable as it should have been, according to Clarkson.
However, according to Raphael Orlove of Jalopnik, the ALPINA V8 Roadster is quite excellent to drive. Its longer-stroke V8 is fantastic to use and makes a great noise, its ride is great and it handles better than one might expect. Playing Devil’s Advocate, I’m not so sure it can be completely judged just from a track session on a perfectly smooth track while with BMW execs watching carefully. I want to love the ALPINA V8 Roadster, so I’m hoping Orlove is right, though.
Truth is, almost none of us will be able to find out whether Orlove or Clarkson is right because there are less than 600 ALPINA V8 Roadsters in the world. All of which carry eye-watering six-figure price tags. So it’s not as if they’re common to see, never mind drive. Still, it’s nice to know that it might be better than we’ve originally heard.