BMW didn’t follow up on the limited-run M5 E34 Touring with an equivalent E39 although those who wanted a sports wagon had the perfect substitute from ALPINA. The B10 V8 was launched in March 1997 but this isn’t it. Instead, we’re dealing with the rarer S variant that was available only during the final year of the E39. To celebrate the launch of the new B5 GT, the Buchloe-based brand has graciously shared with us images of their very own early 2000s super wagon.

As with the B10 Bi-Turbo E34 Sedan we talked about earlier this week, the car is in mint condition, and by that we mean it’s virtually perfect. It has only covered 686 kilometers (426 miles) and looks factory fresh inside and out despite being about 20 years old. It’s a handsome wagon coming from what many believe was the golden era of BMW design, at least as far as modern cars are concerned since we’d argue nothing can match the beauty of the classic 507.

BMW ALPINA B10 V8 S Touring E39

Although the model was based on the 540i with only 286 horsepower, even the non-S B10 V8 had 340 hp after ALPINA bumped the displacement from 4.4 to 4.6 liters and created a new engine block. A couple of years after launch, power grew to 347 hp but the big boost came near the end of the life cycle with the S model with its even larger 4.8-liter V8. The output was rated at 375 hp and 510 Nm (376 lb-ft), routed to the rear wheels through a five-speed Switch-Tronic gearbox with upshift and downshift buttons mounted on the steering wheel.

The wagon did 0 to 62 mph (100 km/h) in a respectable 5.6 seconds and topped out at 170 mph (273 km/h). Although seriously powerful and fast, the ALPINA B10 V8 S Touring offered during the days of the E39 had an understated design as all ALPINAs tend to have. You had to know it’s not a run-of-the-mill 5 Series Touring, further adding to the car’s appeal among enthusiasts who despise flashy cars.

In 2023, the future of the 5 Series pampered by ALPINA is uncertain. BMW has promised to take the newly acquired brand upmarket, so the focus is likely to be on the 7 Series and X7. Hopefully, the recently launched B5 GT is not the end of the road for classy 5er performance versions.

Photos: ALPINA