Alpina has established itself as the go-to luxury brand for niche performance enhancements of BMW’s popular sedans. With the popular performance-luxury automaker recently acquiring the Alpina Burkard Bovensiepen brand located out of Buckhloe, Germany, BMW likely has some big things planned for Alpina in the near future. However, for now, the small performance specialist outfit is focused on the Alpina B4 and readying it for market availability. So what does that mean for those of you considering purchasing an Alpina from a Dayton BMW dealer in Ohio? Will you be able to get your hands on Alpina’s latest performance masterpiece, and will it be worth it? Well, BMW is keeping the international availability of the Alpina B4 Gran Coupe close to the chest, but the price and features make it worthwhile to keep tabs on it for those interested in a high-performance BMW that doesn’t sacrifice any of the luxury-sedan elements.
What Is Alpina, and What’s Their Association With BMW?
It’s easy to be out of the loop when it comes to Alpina. They’re not in the news often and despite having been associated with performance tuning and auto part enhancements since the 1960s. It was only until the late 1980s did they start offering production BMWs as specialized alternatives to enthusiasts looking for race-tier sedans in production model vehicles. The company could probably best be compared to performance outfits like Shelby or Hennessey, except Alpina is currently exclusive to BMW, much like AMG is to Mercedes.
Starting in 1967, Alpina’s manually manufactured aftermarket tuning for BMWs were put to the test in competitive motorsports racing. This only led to Alpina raising their stock as a business when they began helping BMW secure wins, including multiple victories in 1970 with first-place finishes in prestigious races like the Spa 24 Hours. This was a major milestone shift, as Alpina wasn’t just known for fine-tuning BMWs with specially crafted parts; they cemented a legacy as a force to be reckoned with on the race track, too.
By 1988 Alpina withdrew from the motorsports arena and began focusing exclusively on performance-enhanced production model BMWs. This would eventually lead to the company gaining more recognition as a luxury-performance supplier rather than an exclusive motorsports tuning company, opening them to more recognition and prestige among everyday drivers. Their bespoke boutique-style approach to enhancing BMW performance, however, was too good to pass up for motorsports enthusiasts, and in 2008 Alpina returned to their roots to compete in the GT3 racing series. Fast forward to 2022, and BMW saw an opportunity they couldn’t pass up by wholly purchasing Alpina and bringing the performance tuning company under the exclusive wing of the BMW brand.
So What’s the Alpina B4 Gran Coupe, and What Makes It So Exciting?
Essentially, Alpina’s brand takes an existing BMW model series and enhances it with performance-tuned parts. If you’re unfamiliar with the way BMW ranks/grades their automobiles, we covered the different letters/numbers for the BMW designations in a previous blog post here. In the case of Alpina, they have their own designations, loosely based on BMW’s grading for their marques.
So, for instance, the Alpina D3 Bi-Turbo Touring is based on the BMW 3 Series, while the Alpina XB7 is based on the BMW X7 series. The designation is usually similar to the equivalent BMW series but tuned with Alpina parts and Alpina badging. There have been previous Alpina B4 series, including the 2014 Alpina B4, the 2017 Alpina B4 S Bi-Turbo Coupe based on the BMW 4 Series compact coupe, and the limited B4 S Edition 99. However, the new Alpina B4 Gran Coupe pushes the limits even further when it comes to power and performance.
The previous B4’s topped out at 452 hp and 502 lb-ft of torque. The new Alpina B4 Gran Coupe, based on the BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe, delivers 495 hp and 538 lb-ft of torque, giving it more torsional output than the standard BMW M4 Series. The B4 also features a stiffer sports-tuned suspension for more precision handling, a limited-slip rear differential for better traction control, and an adaptive air-ride configuration for different road and driving conditions. Add in the iconic 20-inch rims Alpina is known for, refined aerodynamic exterior elements such as diffusers and airflow tunneling, and you have a perfectly opulent performance-luxury sedan.
Where Does the Alpina B4 Gran Coupe Fit Into the BMW Ecosystem?
The Alpina B4 Gran Coupe is a midsize four-door sedan. It’s the literal equivalent in size and stature to the BMW 430i Gran Coupe; only it’s fitted with the performance enhancements of Alpina, which includes larger wheels, more horsepower, and more torque. If you wanted a powerful sedan with race-equivalent performance, then the B4 Gran Coupe is the answer.
It’s a smaller vehicle than the larger Alpina B7 or B8 series, which are currently available from your local Dayton BMW dealer, but it’s much larger than the BMW 2 and 3 Series. The Alpina B4 Gran Coupe is a nice middle-ground for those who enjoy the performance-infused capabilities that Alpina provides as a sub-brand of BMW but perhaps wanted something smaller than Alpina’s more recent B7, B8, and XB7 Series.
If the currently available Alpina sedans might seem too large for your tastes, maybe because you don’t want something quite as bold as a full-size performance vehicle, the B4 Gran Coupe is a perfect alternative. You still get the racing-inspired tuning to make the alternate BMW much more track-capable, but it’s still compact enough where you have less weight to wield and less car to handle. That’s not to mention that the B4 Gran Coupe is less expensive than its larger siblings.
Will the Alpina B4 Gran Coupe Be Available at a Dayton BMW Dealer?
Right now, Alpina is focused on getting the B4 Gran Coupe up and out to the general public. However, it’s important to keep in mind that the Alpina is a specialty brand, and usually, you have to know what you’re looking for and which dealership to visit to get your hands on one. So will the Alpina B4 Gran Coupe make its way to a Dayton BMW dealer near you? It’s up in the air as far as initial announcements are concerned.
BMW plans to get the Alpina up and out on roads in Europe by summer 2022 for an approximate MSRP of $100,000, which is quite a deal compared to most other Alpina-tuned BMWs. There are no announcements about a release for the B4 Gran Coupe stateside, but don’t be surprised if BMW makes a potential announcement about that in the near future. Now the sticker price might seem a bit high, but you’re getting a hand-tuned luxury-sports sedan that basically competes with select supercars currently on the market.
Additionally, the price of the B4 Gran Coupe offers a lot more leeway compared to the other Alpina offerings. Since the Alpina B4 Gran Coupe is the equivalent of the BMW 4 Series rather than the 7 or 8 Series, the latter of which are typically more expensive given that they’re higher up on the pricing scale, $100,000 for an Alpina B4 Gran Coupe is quite the steal. Keep in mind that the 2022 Alpina B7 starts at $143,200, and the 2022 Alpina B8 starts at $139,900. So there’s a lot to consider when it comes to eyeing an Alpina, and the B4 Gran Coupe makes for an exciting addition to the line-up for those who might want something a little more powerful than what the BMW M4 offers but aren’t quite ready to commit to Alpina B7 or B8.