We all know what BMW’s inhouse m division is all about, pushing the performance aspects of their cars to the max. But, for the real BMW gourmet, it’s the cars that wear the alpina badge that stand above the rest by delivering both total performance and total refinement. Cars like this BMW Alpina B6.
The 2016 BMW ALPINA B6 xDrive Gran Coupe may of course be based on BMW’s not exactly humble 650i Gran Coupe, but this is still one truly unique animal. In fact if you’re lucky enough to purchase one of these rare beasts, your car will have a VIN number listing ALPINA as the manufacturer, not BMW.
This is also one animal that has evolved for roads that don’t exist in this country and bred to perform acts that simply aren’t permissible on our very limited speed highways.
Making it even more difficult to truly enjoy this uncommon creature, is the blissfully serene nature that removes all sense of speed; and you’ve got a recipe for problems down at the DMV.
Unlike M products, ALPINA is not owned by BMW, however the brand has worked closely with them for 50 years; diverting BMW cars to be hand finished in ALPINA’s own Bavarian factory.
To what end? Well, most importantly for more motor under the hood, as ALPINA takes BMW’s 4.4-liter bi-turbo V8 and whips it up to 600-horsepower and 590 lb-ft. of torque. That’s 40-more horses and 90 lb-ft. over an M6 Gran Coupe.
The attached 8-speed automatic transmission is beefed up accordingly, and standard xDrive reprogrammed for more rear bias.
No matter the weight, 590 lb-ft. of torque will get anything up to speed in a hurry. In this case, the speed is 60 and the hurry is 4.1–seconds. Flawless launch control had us getting away with neck snapping ease every time, even at our old worn down track.
The muscle kept pouring on the whole way down the strip, as shifts hit hard and fast throughout the ¼-mile, until it ended in 12.2-seconds at 116 miles-per-hour.
The blue painted binders clamping down on 14½-inch discs are up to the task as well; as 107-feet was all that was required to stop this 4,780-lbs of awesomeness from 60.
Stiffer springs and more front-wheel camber are just the beginnings of the suspension updates. ALPINA also does a full recalibration of BMW’s Dynamic Damper Control and Active Roll Stabilization systems, as well as bolts on a set of wider 20-inch wheels.
The results are amazing, as this bulk-sized brute, sticks and gets through the cones with ease and grip usually reserved for compact sport sedans. Very tight steering and minimal weight transfer are thrown in for good measure.
And speaking of measuring, the leather craftsmen at ALPINA did their share, as they wrapped and hand stitched virtually the entire interior for both extreme appeal and max comfort.
And make no mistake, this thing does comfort every bit as well as it does performance.
For such a large car, there’s a very intimate feel inside, as you’re nestled comfortably between console and door; giving it a real old sports car feeling. Materials are simply gorgeous, and the fabulous seats do just about everything but eject.
Set the Driver Dynamics Control to Comfort+ for the full effect; Sport and Sport+ are also available, and instantly make the driving experience a whole lot more engaging.
This particular ALPINA may not be as recognizable at first, due to the Moonstone Metallic paint job in place of the more traditional ALPINA Blue; but the more aggressive stance, reworked front fascia with front splitter, ALPINA Classic wheels, and rear diffuser and spoiler are dead giveaways. It all makes for one menacing looking 4-door.
Government Fuel Economy Ratings are 15-City, 24-Highway, and 18-Combined; and we managed a good average of 20.1 miles-per-gallon of Premium. So no gas guzzler tax, but still a poor Energy Impact Score of 18.3-barrels of annual oil use with CO2 emissions of 8.0-tons.
Unfortunately, just as fast as this vehicle can get you moving, it can also make your bank account disappear; with a starting price of $122,195. Ahhh, but what’s the price of exclusivity?!? Yet after spending a few days with this car, it somehow seems worth it. As this is truly the most impressed we’ve been with a BMW in some time.
So, if you’re looking for the ultimate in BMW poshness and refined performance, as well owning something rare; the 2016 BMW ALPINA B6 Gran Coupe is one extravagant way to drive.
Engine: 4.4 liter
Torque: 590 lb-ft.
0-60 mph: 4.1 seconds
1/4 mile: 12.2 seconds @ 116 mph
EPA: 15 mpg city/ 24 mpg highway
Energy Impact: 18.3 barrels of oil/yr
CO2 Emissions: 8.0 tons