BMW Alpina Roadster V8

Alpina Roadsters were rare as hens' teeth, but shouldn't be overlooked if one comes up on the secondhand market

Three years ago, average Z8 values were drifting below the £50,000 mark, but since then the market has really taken off and today a good, low-mileage Z8 commands a price just north of £100K. For the ultra-rare Alpina Roadster version it’s even higher, a £10K premium not being unusual.

Of the 555 Alpina Roadsters produced in 2002-3, 444 went to the US, six to Canada and the remaining 105 to various other countries around the world, but mainly Japan. None, however, was sold in the UK and all were left-hand drive.

This car is apparently the only BMW Alpina Roadster V8 in the UK, its current owner having imported it from the US around 12 months ago. Its total mileage now stands at 3600 and, as you’d expect, the car is like new.

Alpina Roadsters came with a very different specification to regular BMW Z8s, the most notable change being the 375bhp Alpina 4.8-litre V8 taking the place of the standard car’s 400bhp V8, as the ZF automatic gearbox wasn’t compatible with the high-revving M5 engine. Alpina Roadsters have softer springs too, while the 20in wheels are a unique Alpina design, fitted here with Michelin Pilot Sport 2 tyres (regular Z8s came with run-flats).

Even after driving this Alpina briefly, it’s obvious it has a much more relaxed character than the standard car. The auto works beautifully and the ride is good and not too wallowy, but I really missed the bite of the snarling M5 engine, even if the standard Z8 manual gearbox was never the greatest. Vendor Clive Sutton expects this car will most likely find a home outside the UK. I can understand why.    

With thanks to vendor: Clive Sutton, London (0207 483 6500, www.clivesutton.co.uk)

test

• Exterior

Beautifully presented; unmarked, deep-gloss black paintwork. No scuffs to the Alpina wheels, tyre wear minimal

• Interior

Unmarked black leather interior with those lovely blue Alpina dials

• Mechanicals

Virtually as new, and just serviced too

• Should i buy it?

If you’re looking for one of these, you won’t find a better one anywhere

• FOR: It’s the only one available in the UK

• AGAINST: Very different to the regular Z8, and not necessarily for the better either

Specifications

Price£116,950
Year2003
EngineV8, 4837cc  
Max power375bhp @ 5800rpm
Max torque383lb ft @ 3800rpm
0-60mph5.0sec (claimed)
Top speed161mph (limited)

Recommended

613bhp Alpina B8 Gran Coupe revealed – a flagship 201mph saloon
Alpina B8 Gran Coupe
Alpina

613bhp Alpina B8 Gran Coupe revealed – a flagship 201mph saloon

Alpina has applied its tricks to the BMW M850i Gran Coupe, bringing more power and tweaked design to the V8-powered four-door
25 Mar 2021
Alpina Deko Set decals - Art of Speed
Alpina Deko set
Alpina

Alpina Deko Set decals - Art of Speed

Alpina's trademark ‘Deko Set’ decals have been around for almost half a century, and we explore their origins
9 Mar 2021

Most Popular

Car pictures of the week
Roma GT test – group
Lamborghini

Car pictures of the week

We take a look at some of the unseen images from this month’s GT test, featuring Ferrari’s new Roma and an impressive wildcard rival.
17 Sep 2021
2022 Nissan GT-R model year update revealed
MY22 Nissan GT-R T-spec – front quarter
Nissan GT-R

2022 Nissan GT-R model year update revealed

Two new special editions and the return of some iconic colours are the highlights of the Nissan GT-R’s MY22 update
14 Sep 2021
Tesla Model S Plaid breaks EV Nürburgring record – beats Porsche Taycan Turbo
Tesla Model S Plaid
Tesla Model S

Tesla Model S Plaid breaks EV Nürburgring record – beats Porsche Taycan Turbo

Tesla has now recorded a Nürburgring lap time with its Model S Plaid, if that matters
10 Sep 2021