Alpina's BMW M5: the B5 Bi-Turbo

Alpina previews the new BMW M5 with its twin-turbo, V8 powered 5-series sports saloon

The new BMW M5 is set to signal the departure of naturally aspirated, high revving M saloons. And Alpina is serving up a nice preview of what will replace it with its B5 Bi-Turbo. It’s the tuning firm’s hot version of the new-school 5-series, and it boasts (as the name suggests) a twin turbocharged 4.4-litre V8 engine. The engine is BMW sourced and is heavily rumoured to be the same unit (albeit in different tune) that will make it into the next M5. In the Alpina it serves up some rather healthy numbers: 500bhp and 516lb ft, pumped through the rear wheels via an eight-speed ‘SWITCH-TRONIC’ automatic transmission, making the B5 good for 0-62mph in 4.7sec and – impressively – 191mph. There’s much talk of the ride offering comfort and compliance, too, words you might not perhaps associate with a tuned performance BMW. But with variable damper control as standard and phrases such as ‘light steering’ and ‘ultra-comfortable suspension’ peppered through the press release, it’s clear that Alpina’s driven some of the B5’s uber-stiff rivals and decided to tread a different path. There’s still talk of super-quick gearshift times and agility aplenty, mind. Peruse the pictures on the right, or read about our much-loved long-term Alpina D3 sports saloon

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