Alpina B3 and B5 Touring in direct comparison

Alpina B3 and B5 Touring in direct comparison

Biturbo, all-wheel drive, station wagon. This no longer has anything to do with the start of the Alpina company. They are based in motorsport. It all started with a tuning kit for the BMW 1500 (“New Class”), followed later by the 02 variant and a larger model with six and even more cylinders. All of this culminated in the magnificent twelve cylinders aboard the B12 Coupé in the early 1990s.
Back then, it was always part of the game: BMW’s signature early virtues, like manual switches, rear-wheel drive and naturally aspirated engines. Today the world has changed – the world of BMW and therefore the world of Alpina. The Allgäu noble glider has long been produced on the BMW factory assembly line. Are any even painted in the distinctive special colors “Alpina Blue” and “Alpina Green” – depending on the model at an additional cost of approx (1950 euros for B3 Touring, 2870 euros for B5) Touring).

The interior of the B3 is based on the pre-facelifted G21. The latest version with i4-style widescreen is coming soon.


The B4 Biturbo Edition 99 was the last Alpina model with pure rear-wheel drive in 2019. Since then there has been no alternative to all-wheel drive. So the B3 can also stand out from the M3 – at least until recently the xDrive Competition saw the light of day in the world of sports driving. Until then, the B3 sedan with a base price of 83,350 euros is a real alternative for everyone who wants to do without the M3’s latent threatening fatness.

B3 tour incurs an additional 1800 euros

At the price of the Alpina, there is only the M3 manual switch, for the 510 hp xDrive 94,500 euros is due. And at least until the launch of the M3 Touring this summer, the Allgäu have another argument on their side: the power train. In this case we have now made ourselves comfortable. The B3 Touring costs 1,800 euros more than the sedan and carries the same 462 hp S58 straight-six with twin turbochargers under the hood.
Alpina Tour B3

Only the cover looks like twelve cylinders: the M3’s double-loaded straight-six S58 works on the Alpina B3.


Even if the base vehicle is the M340i, there’s genuine M3 technology under the sheet metal. The developers at Buchloe simply adapted that philosophy to their own will. Meaning: slightly less power than BMW’s top models, but 50 Newton meters more torque. The 8-speed auto has also been adjusted, shifting smoothly and almost seamlessly. In order to use the sport mode with the right style, our test car installed a paddle shift made of solid aluminum at a cost of 280 euros. So you can finally flip through the speed levels in manual mode.

There is no automatic up switch in Alpina B3

The thumb buttons used previously are classic and style-defining, but handling them takes some getting used to. By the way: Manual mode is actually such a mode. There are no automatic upshifts on the B3 – it consistently runs to the limiter if the pilot doesn’t put two cents into it.

Crossroads

Motorbauart

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charging

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installation position

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valve/camshaft

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transfer

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kW (HP) at 1/min

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liter output

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Nm at 1/minute

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transmission

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drive type

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brake in front

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rear brake

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disc brake material

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Front-rear wheel size

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Front-rear tire size

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tire type

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L/B/H

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wheelbase

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Tank/luggage volume

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Standard consumption – CO2

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basic price

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test car price

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We switched to the bigger B5 Touring. It also goes by the nicknames “Biturbo” and “Allrad”, but connects all of that with a 4.4-liter V8. In doing so, Alpina doesn’t take on a very large set of optimizations, as it did with B3. The eight-cylinder isn’t the sportingly refined S63 unit, like on the M5 or M8, the more civilized N63 of the M550i works here.

Of its 530 hp, technicians used a bigger charger and other tricks to come up with a respectable 621 hp – just four horses less than in the M5 Competition. 800 Newton meters ensures superior thrust every time. And like the class below, Alpina adds another 50 Nm to the top model value of the BMW M.

Alpina Tour B5

The large main screen sits in the B5’s cockpit on the dashboard.


In the interior, the B5 provides inspiration with a slightly more indulgent aroma. Our test car was equipped with merino leather and a knotless remote seat. No racetrack can do it due to the lack of lateral support, but that’s not what the B5 was made for. Superior travel comfort and demonstration of strength in terms of longitudinal dynamics are his hobbies. And yes, on a trip to the Sachsenring we can prove to him: work done in bright colours.

Thank you Alpina B5

The elegance with which it dissipates shock in the transverse joints, how clean it handles bends and stresses even at speeds of over 250 km/h – phenomenal. No shaking, no shaking, nothing. His younger brother was a little more nervous; B3 simply has the fundamental property of being more agile. But what we can call a negative here, he turned into a positive on the race track.

Alpina Tour B5

Eight cylinders, 4.4 liter displacement, dual filling. The engine in the B5 pushes like there’s no tomorrow.


A clear picture emerges at the Sachsenring: Sector 1 belongs to the beefy eight cylinders, but especially in the meandering second sector, the B3 really hits its big brother in the face. 87 percent in about 25 seconds is the world. But the B5 has always retaliated in terms of performance development.

In sector three, up the hill behind Omega, to Linkskuppe and then hard onto the kart track, he regained nearly half a second. In sector four it is almost a draw; at the point of highest speed measurement, the B5 wrote more at 5.8 km/h. Until then, the two-tonners were still ahead, but in the last sector, particularly at narrow Queckenberg-Links, B3 took a decisive 18-hundredth before both roared into the start/finish. 1:37.42 to 1:37.62 seconds after nearly 3.7 kilometers.

It must advance

To classify: Lamborghini Urus went almost half a second faster, Audi RS 4 Avant only nine hundred. Interesting detail: The B8 Gran Coupé was also in the corridor this time with a time of 1:37.43 seconds.

But as already said: Lateral dynamics is just a by-catch in the Alpina model. He had to go forward. And here both have no deficit. However, the B5 allows the driver’s brain to spin back and forth more intensely – you’ll be a bit dizzy at the start of the launch.

Alpina Tours B3 and B5

Two touring tails with room to dream: B3 loads 500 to 1510 liters, B5 even 560 to 1700 liters.


3.3 seconds to 100 – one-tenth below the manufacturer’s specifications – and 10.8 to 200. Those are values ​​we talked about super athletes recently. Incidentally, both slow down with the optional performance brake system. The additional 240 kilograms of weight from the B5 is reflected in a longer braking distance of 0.9 meters. From 200: almost a draw.

Conclusion

More space, more comfort, more performance. B5 charged forward vigorously. But despite being 159 hp less, the B3 was faster at the Sachsenring and cornered more nimbly. In the end, the charge ensured he won in the reverse duel.