The ALPINA B8 Gran Coupe is one of the best looking cars to wear a Roundel in the last ten years and, somehow, it’s still sort of forgotten. At least, here in America it is. However, head over to its home country of Germany—more specifically, it’s home state of Bavaria—and the B8 is far more respected, as Matt Farah points out in the latest video from The Smoking Tire.
Farah was in Germany, for unrelated business, and had the chance to borrow an ALPINA B8 Gran Coupe for the week, after touring the ALPINA factory and saddlery to see how its cars are built and crafted. During his time, he spent several hours each day behind the wheel and was able to really get to know it and seems to have come away impressed.
The ALPINA B8 Gran Coupe is a monster of a machine. It takes the standard 8 Series Gran Coupe, rips much of its guts out, improves them, and stuffs them back in. Then, to borrow a phrase from Farah, tailors it like a fine suit. Having driven the B8 Gran Coupe myself (though in a really bad color scheme, not like the gorgeous green one in this video), and the M8 Gran Coupe, I can confidently say that both cars feel worlds apart.
ALPINA tunes its cars for comfort, refinement, and mind-boggling speed. The B8 Gran Coupe is not an M car and it isn’t trying to be. Instead of wanting to rev high and tackle race tracks, the B8 wants to hurl its driver from one side of a continent to another at mind-melting speed, while wrapped in leather-lined luxury. Although, ALPINA is so good at tuning its cars to drive well that the side effect is that they’re also pretty good on track. Fun story, at a BMW press launch a few years back at Monticello Motor Club, ALPINA owner Andreas Bovensiepen not only personally told BMW to put the XB7 SUV on track, he sent stacks of tires with it, that’s how confident he was in his 617 horsepower SUV. Boss ass move.
For the full review, watch this video, especially since you can see it drive in its natural environment. You’ll learn a lot about the B8 Gran Coupe and ALPINA in general, things even I didn’t know prior. But one of the more interesting things Farah noted was the respect it gains in Bavaria. He received tons of positive attention from car enthusiasts and BMW drivers. I remember driving the B8 here in the ‘States and no one gave it a second look. I always look to see how BMW drivers react to seeing ALPINAs when I drive them and I never get anything. Probably because they’re heads are already too far up their M Performance-colored asses to notice.