The collaboration between BMW and ALPINA is somewhat unique in the industry today. Some might say that other companies also enjoy certain perks from well-established car makers, but the ALPINA-BMW relationship goes beyond anything else you might find on the market.
ALPINA engineers get intimate access to whatever BMW is working on, so that they can adjust their own products accordingly, years before the final cars are unveiled. This has been happening for decades and it will keep going for a long time.
The guys from Autocar wanted to pay homage to the best of the best works the two companies did. Therefore, they assembled what they consider to be the best to have ever come out of BMW’s plants, with the M badge or the ALPINA colors.
Of course, no such ranking could begin or end without the mention of the BMW M1. This was the quintessential model that started it all, from the naming convention to the way cars were developed by BMW for track/road.
The BMW side of things also includes the E39 M5, the BMW E46 M3 or the M2 Competition, to mention a few. That last name on the list shows, against all of those naysayers out there, that BMW and its M division still have what it takes to deliver a true enthusiast package.
On the ALPINA side of things, the B8 4.6 stands out because it managed to become the first V8-powered 3 Series ever. The E36 platform it was built on was never considered a popular one but the B8 was a monster.
Then there was the B7 Turbo, a car that had a turbocharged engine under the hood in 1978, when turbos were the equivalent of electric cars today: rare and peculiar.
The ALPINA B7 Turbo became the world’s fastest sedan back then, thanks to forced air induction, and wrote history with its bespoke features. Check out Autocar for the entire list and let us know what other model should’ve been included in the mix.