In March 2022, the BMW Group announced plans to purchase the ALPINA brand. However, until the current agreement expires on December 31, 2025, it’s business as usual for the Buchloe-based niche brand. As to what will happen after that, a new trademark filing in Germany suggests a rebranding is planned for the company founded by Burkard Bovensiepen back in 1965.

Discovered by a member of the i5Talk forums, the new “BMW ALPINA” lettering and redesigned ALPINA logo were registered with the German Patent and Trademark Office earlier this month. You can see them both at the source links below, but one must wonder whether the new owner will simply give up on the old logo. Switching to “BMW ALPINA” makes sense as it highlights the parent company while keeping the prestigious “ALPINA” name alive, but some would argue that abandoning the heritage symbol would be a mistake.

The new symbol depicting a stylized “A” is far simpler than the current badge that ALPINA has been using since 1974, updated in 2002 when it received a 3D effect. It features a single throttle on the left red side and a crankshaft on the right blue side, encircled by a black ring with prominent “ALPINA” letters. The original design from 1967 had a dual carburetor (left) and a camshaft (right) before the latter was replaced four years later in 1971 by a crankshaft. In 2023, the only areas on the outside where the emblem is installed are in the engine bay and on the wheels.

We should point out that a trademark filing (of any kind) doesn’t necessarily mean the owner will use it on products. In some cases, automakers take these legal measures to simply protect a name and/or design so that it’s not copied by a third party. 2026 is still a long way off and many things could happen until then, but an educated guess tells us some major changes are planned on a corporate level for ALPINA. Whatever the case may be, BMW has promised to be “very careful and thoughtful.”

In an interview from September 2022, BMW’s Vice President, Head of Series Luxury Class, Christian Tschurtschenthaler, hinted ALPINA will be pushed upmarket to bridge the gap between the high-end BMWs and the entry-level Rolls-Royce: “There is space between the top of BMW at €200,000-€220,000 and the bottom of Rolls-Royce, which starts at around €350,000.”

Reading between the lines, that tells us ALPINA is likely to bring back the B7 after the model was unexpectedly discontinued when the 7 Series G11/G12 was retired. If that’s correct, it could happen with the G70’s Life Cycle Impulse planned in the second half of the decade. An ultra-posh XB7 also seems like a distinct possibility to serve as a cheaper alternative to the Cullinan.

At the other end of the lineup, the future doesn’t look so good for the B3/D3 S judging by the following statement made by Tschurtschenthaler in the same interview: “Does it make sense then that someone spends that €250,000 or €300,000 money on an ALPINA then sees a B3 come alongside at a traffic light?”

Source: DPMA (1), DPMA (2) via i5Talk