Many people will look at the car here and think, that’s just a BMW 5 Series Touring, where’s this Alpina B5? Well, here’s a short answer to clarify that: It’s a BMW tuner brand that is recognised as an independent automotive brand that develops high-performance versions of regular BMW cars. So when BMW launched the facelifted 5 Series, Alpina followed suit with the new B5.
The B5 is based on the 5 Series. It does feature a few Alpina cosmetic touches like the gorgeous 20-spoke wheels and sportier front bumper with extended chin spoiler, side skirts, rear bumper and a stainless steel quad-exit exhaust. The interior is the same but with Alpina branding instead of BMW and plushier upholstery. It even does some tweaking to the donor Bimmer’s suspension for added sportiness while being more comfortable than an M5.
Speaking of the M5, the Alpina B5 actually makes more power from the same 4.4-litre twin-turbo V8 than the ‘standard’ M5. It makes 613bhp and 800Nm of torque which is 22bhp and 50Nm more. The drivetrain is the same xDrive system as the regular 5-er using an Alpina-tweaked 8-speed ZF automatic transmission to cope with the added torque.
But what really makes an Alpina B5 better than a BMW M5? The fact that you can have it in estate form, aka, the Touring variant. It can do the 0-100kph sprint in 3.6 seconds, on to 200kph in 11.9 seconds and has a top speed of 330kph. The sedan version is a bit quicker with a claimed time of 3.4 seconds for 0-100kph and 11.3 seconds for 0/200kph.
Sure, you miss out on the option to engage RWD only mode, but that just makes the Alpina B5 an even better daily driver. Your temptation to ruin your rear tyres or skid into a ditch is thwarted without giving up on the performance.
It has a base price of £97,500 but with a few choice optional extras of my picking in the configurator, the final price tag came to just a little over £125,000. A similarly-specced BMW M5 came to a price of just under £122,000. So that’s a £3,000 premium for more performance and more car. I think that’s a pretty good deal.
Which super-sleeper estate would you pick — the Alpina B5, the new tech-filled Mercedes-AMG E63 S or the menacing Audi RS6? Let me know in the comments below and don’t forget to subscribe to The Auto Loons for more cool updates from the car world.