Andreas Bovensiepen, ALPINA’s owner and CEO, is one of the most interesting people I’ve ever met. I’ve had the chance to meet him a couple of times and I’ve been fortunate enough to have long conversations with him at press events, over glasses of wine, and he’s a fascinating man to talk to, while also being incredibly approachable. So when I saw that he sat down with Matt Farah and Zack Klapman, from The Smoking Tire podcast, I clicked as quickly as I could because I knew it would be good.

During their discussion, they talk about everything from iconic ALPINA cars, the future of the brand, the future of fast BMWs in general, and even the classic ALPINA wheel design. There’s a lot to cover, as ALPINA is going through the biggest change in its history, now that BMW owns the majority of the company.

Many fans were upset when the news of BMW’s acquisition of ALPINA was announced, as they felt ALPINA’s cars would lose their magic and their character. However, as Bovensiepen has said before, the famous Bavarian boutique brand didn’t have much choice. With electrification becoming not only more popular but also mandatory, there was no way ALPINA could afford to stay in business and compete at a high level. So the only logical move was to official join BMW.

ALPINA has always worked closely with BMW, even on the development of new BMW models. For many, many years, ALPINAs have started out on BMW’s assembly line and then plucked and shipped to ALPINA’s factory in Buchloe, Germany. Now, though, the manufacturing of ALPINAs will be almost entirely handled by BMW.

One of the reasons why fans were upset about this acquisition is Bovensiepen himself. He’s so incredibly passionate about his company and his cars that it’s infectious and you can feel that when you drive the cars. ALPINAs just feel different from BMWs, as if they were built by people who care more about driving and much of that comes from the passion of its owners. Andreas’ father Burkard Bovensiepen founded the company but Andreas has been at the helm for many years.

Not only is Bovensiepen passionate about ALPINA and fast BMWs, he’s also an accomplished race car driver. He was part of the BMW team that won its class in the 24 Hours of Nurburgring, the first team to do so in a diesel-powered car.

As you can imagine, this conversation between Farah and Bovensiepen is fascinating and well worth your time. It’s about an hour long discussion and you should check it out whenever you have the chance.