There is something strange about this Alpina B8 Gran Coupé. Normally there is a fairly clear delineation between the almighty M and the B, more cruise style, but this time the roles are reversed. If you come to a traffic light on your BMW M8 Gran Coupé, the Alpina B8 with you will be doing plus can. This is bad.
This is not always the case. If you get a BMW M8 Competition, you will have a car with 617 horsepower. The regular M8 settles for a measly 600. That’s miserable, certainly, next to the B8’s 612.
Again, this is wrong! Alpinas should offer a simple distinction from the performance cars that BMW offers. BMW M cars have more power, Alpinas settle for less power but more torque. M cars are about to hit the road. The Alpinas are about to bring them down. Sport versus comfort. Performance versus style. The prices are not even very far. A BMW M8 Gran Coupe has a starting price of $ 130,000. An Alpina B8 Gran Coupe costs five dollars out of $ 140,000 bound.
That is not what we are achieving here with this Alpina. It makes too much power! It’s not even at the expense of engine torque. The B8 produces 590 pound-feet, while the M8 makes 553, competitive or not. Both the Alpina and M8 use the same base engine, BMW’s 4.4-liter biturbo V8, so the similarities make sense.
The way this should work is that the Alpina car should have more torque, but at the expense of power. It should be very clear to everyone around you that you care more about a comfortable and safe car than any M car that strives. So it was with the BMW Z8, with the 400 hp engine of the M5, and the Alpina Roadster, with a 375 hp tuned on. a more pedestrian BMW V8.
I got a chance to drive one of those Alpina Roadsters, let it run that V8, popping and banging around BMW’s Spartanburg test track. It was so satisfying to have such a comfortable car driven so aggressively, and the car had a sense of balance and understanding as I understood it.
The B8 should have that. Instead, it generates too much power. However, I can’t get mad at that. It’s definitely a better car than the M8. I mean, look at that painting. Paint alone does it.