Prior to entering production, new ALPINA models are subjected to an extensive array of endurance tests and fine-tuning procedures. Through these tests, ALPINA aims to deliver an outstanding performance machine that meets the highest standard of the Buchloe-based tuner.
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The camouflaged ALPINA test prototypes are deployed into various locations all over the globe. For example, the pre-series vehicles endure extreme heat conditions in the Death Valley, where temperatures often exceeds a scorching 50 degrees Celsius. They also undergo thorough cold weather testing sessions in the Rocky Mountains, near the Pikes Peak. For the chassis and high-speed development, the future vehicles are deployed on the Pista di Nardo circuit, in Italy.
Andreas Wippel is in charge of the Testing and Approval Department at ALPINA and he is responsible for the efficient organization and smooth execution of the test program for forthcoming ALPINA models. He spends almost 20 weeks per year on the road with the test vehicles in the various locations across the globe.
Wippel is also responsible for supervising and taking care that the development phase goes according to plan. When the task is completed, he issues the so-called “sign off”, which guarantees that the vehicle has undergone all the steps of development and is now ready for production.
Andreas Wippel explains the specifics of his duties and what it takes to make ALPINA philosophy become palpable in every detail: “Which tests our prototypes have to pass in the development phase depends on the components which we adapt from the regular BMW production vehicle, the performance characteristics we want to achieve and the market for which it has been developed. The tests usually run over a period of about two years. Drivetrain, transmission, brakes, suspension, damping, aerodynamics, wheels, tires, etc. – all ALPINA components are put through their paces and fine-tuned step by step.”
Even though BMW models are forming the basis for the ALPINA high-performance vehicles, the cars developed and produced in Buchloe are substantially different than the Munich counterparts. An ALPINA is different in any aspect: drivetrain, chassis, engines and body parts and details. Every section of an ALPINA model is unique and has been carefully developed, tweaked and installed before the sign-off for production.
During the testing and development phase, all relevant departments in Buchloe are cooperating and working closely together to overcome any obstacle and ensure the final product meets the highest ALPINA standards. What really defines an ALPINA vehicle is the harmonious blend between strong, self-assured on-road-behavior which combines top sportiness and dynamics with refined, superior comfort.
The polyvalent, passionate character of the talented ALPINA engineers conducted by Andreas Wippel is also reflected in the exclusive status of the high-performance vehicles assembled at Buchloe, like the ALPINA B5 BITURBO, the fastest production wagon model in the world.
Derived from the G31 5 Series, the B5 Touring is powered by a 4.4-liter V8 BITURBO powerplant rated at 608 PS (600 hp). The sprint from 0 to 100 km/h takes just 3.7 seconds, while the top speed reaches a staggering 322 km/h.
Below, you can watch an amusing video about the B5 Touring which perfectly symbolizes the ALPINA culture.