THE NEW BMW ALPINA B4 BITURBO
The foundation that Burkard Bovensiepen laid in the 1960s in the form of a performance-enhanced BMW 1500, has since developed into a permanent fixture in the luxury sports car segment. What were then the first technologically and qualitatively relevant products marketed by ALPINA, namely four-cylinder petrol engines with Weber dual carburettors, are now in modern form high-tech automobiles. Equipped from the outset with the best possible genes by BMW, they currently represent the ultimate in performance, comfort, driving culture and efficiency. The new BMW ALPINA B3 and B4 Bi-Turbo models combine these characteristics like no other. The modern straight-six 3 litre engine equipped with two turbochargers produces 410hp and a maximum torque of 600Nm. The adaptive ALPINA sport suspension and the 8-Speed Sport-Automatic transmission with ALPINA SWITCH-TRONIC deliver maximum comfort and impressive dynamics. Functional aerodynamics, signature 20” ALPINA CLASSIC wheels and two elliptical double tailpipes are hallmarks of the ALPINA design philosophy. The perfect interaction of power, torque and high-tech transmission means accelerating from 0 to 100km/h (0 – 62mph) takes just 4.2 seconds and a staggering top speed in excess of 300km/h is possible. At the same time these qualities encourage relaxed cruising and stress-free long distance journeys – during which the real life consumption easily drops below 10l per 100km. In fact the new B4 Bi-Turbo Coupé achieves a class-leading combined fuel economy of just 7.6l/100km and 177g/km CO2*. * Preliminary data BMW ALPINA B4 Bi-Turbo Coupé (RWD).
The 2979cc straight-six cylinder engine with high-precision direct injection, Valvetronic and Bi-Turbo charging delivers 410hp (301kW) between 5500rpm and 6250rpm and a maximum torque of 600Nm at only 3000rpm. In fact 550Nm are available across an impressively wide range between 2200rpm and 5200rpm. Mated to the excellent ZF 8-Speed Sport-Automatic transmission means that the new BMW ALPINA B3 Bi-Turbo and B4 Bi-Turbo models are never lacking in forward momentum – power can be called upon at all times in order to enjoy that typical, effortless ALPINA driving experience. The new B4 Bi-Turbo Coupé accelerates from 0 to 100km/h (0 – 62mph) in just 4.2 seconds, passing the 200km/h mark in 14 seconds on the way to a top speed of 305km/h. At the same time the powertrain, which features Valvetronic and Start Stop, boasts class leading economy figures with a combined consumption of only 7.6 litres per 100 kilometers and CO2 emissions of just 177g/km*.
Inspired by the pleasure that the 8-Speed Sport-Automatic transmission with SWITCH-TRONIC offers in the larger BMW ALPINA models, the so-called 8HP70 transmission has been extensively adapted to suit the performance characteristics of the new B3 and B4 Bi-Turbo models. In actual fact, the high power output and torque of the Bi-Turbo combine so well with this transmission that performance figures usually associated with much larger but less efficient engines are achieved. The transmission excels in disciplines often assumed to be incompatible and offers an optimum driving experience in every situation. To this end, three shift modes are available: Automatic (D), Sport (S) and Manual (M).
In Automatic (D) Shift Mode the focus is strictly on driving comfort. The transmission changes gears quickly and with no noticeable interruption to the delivery of power. The torque of the engine enables consumption-optimised ‘surfing‘ in high gears even at very low speeds and in urban driving environments. Even at higher cruising speeds rpms will remain low, for example 2500rpm at 170km/h in 8th gear, increasing long-distance driving comfort significantly.
Sport (S) Shift Mode noticeably shortens the time it takes for the next gear to engage and depending on engine load significantly moves the shift points up the rev range. Accelerator inputs are carried out immediately, full throttle i.e. kick-down will implement multi-simultaneous downshifts and optimal acceleration. When combined with the Sport or Sport+ setting of the Drive Performance Control, which modifies the drive and chassis setup, gearshifts are even quicker.
Activating the Manual (M) Shift Mode using the SWITCH-TRONIC buttons on the back of the steering wheel, allows the driver to take control and shift gears when suitable or necessary. A special feature of the Sport, Sport+ and DSC Off setting is the suppression of automatic up-shift in Manual (M) Shift Mode – hereby the selected gear is held into the rpm limiter and the transmission will not up-shift into a higher gear.
CHASSIS & SUSPENSION
The suspension set-up of the new B4 Bi-Turbo provides great ride-quality and comfort while simultaneously offering sharp and dynamic handling. The adaptive ALPINA sport suspension solves this conflict of interest by means of electronically adjustable dampers in collaboration with performance springs, bump stops and stabilisers. The system allows the driver to use the Drive Performance Control (Eco Pro, Comfort, Sport, Sport+) to select the suspension setting and driving dynamics to match his mood. The longer wheelbase and wider track at the front and rear provide the B4 Bi-Turbo Coupé with a more dynamic character from the outset. Subtle adjustments to camber, toe-in and elastokinematics result in a neutral chassis and very balanced handling. The 20” ALPINA Classic wheels with MICHELIN Pilot Super Sport tyres combined with a front strut brace accentuate the Coupé’s direct and precise turn-in. The Variable Sports Steering from BMW, which comes as standard, has a progressive steering rack providing steering stability at high speeds but which requires significantly less steering input (turns of the wheel) when manoeuvring and parking. Deceleration is taken care of by an 18“ high-performance brake system with 370mm discs at the front and 345mm discs at the rear. Aluminium callipers (4-piston on front axle, 2-piston on rear axle) painted in blue and with ALPINA lettering, in conjunction with high-performance pads, ensure fading stability and optimal pedal feedback.
Coupés from ALPINA have always appealed to a small but particularly loyal circle of enthusiast drivers who share a passion for understated elegance combined with maximum performance and a sophisticated driving experience. The design of the BMW ALPINA B4 Bi-Turbo Coupé combines muscular and delicate elements in one chic silhouette. The Coupé is longer, wider and significantly lower than the Saloon. Its profile rakes from an imposing, muscular front accentuated with bold lines to a clean and stylish rear. The front spoiler, with subtle ALPINA lettering, integrates seamlessly into the dynamic front apron which is characterised by large air intakes for the cooling system of the turbo-charged engine as well as the high-performance brake system. Together with the rear spoiler the Coupé’s aerodynamics are optimised for excellent high-speed stability while simultaneously maintaining a low drag coefficient. It is almost as if the low, elongated silhouette of the Coupé was shaped to complement the 20” ALPINA Classic wheels. Their timeless, twenty spoke design with hidden air valves suit the B4 Bi-Turbo exceptionally well. Blue brake callipers with ALPINA lettering and signature twin tailpipes complete the appearance.