For those who might think the BMW 8 Series is a little too plebian, perhaps a little underpowered, there’s an alternative coming: the 2022 BMW Alpina B8 Gran Coupe.
BMW has had a long-running, though traditionally limited, relationship with Alpina going back decades. The tuner, formally known as Alpina Burkard Bovensiepen GmbH, has given its deft touch to a number of different products throughout the years. That currently includes versions of the 3 and 7 Series, as well as the X7. The 2022 B8 marks the first time Alpina has taken on BMW’s top-line 8 Series.
Starting with the 4-door Gran Coupe, Alpina gives the B8 a boost in performance – with its top speed nudging just past 200 mph. The 8 Series V-8 also gets a customized exhaust note to match the added power. There are a number of exterior tweaks, with an emphasis on functional aerodynamic enhancements. And, in typical Alpina fashion, the B8 Gran Coupe also delivers a more luxurious interior package than the more run-of-the-mill BMW 8 Series.
Appealing to all the senses
The Alpina B8 Gran Coupe “combines the highest levels of performance, dynamics and comfort in a bold and beautiful design,” BMW proclaims in a news release. “The new Alpina B8 Gran Coupé is truly an exclusive automobile that appeals to all your senses.“
As with prior Alpina offerings, the upgrade process begins under the hood. The twin-turbo 4.4-liter V-8 found in standard versions of the 8 Series gets a big bump in output, at 612 horsepower and 590 pound-feet of torque. Only the M8 Competition, at 617 hp, managed to deliver more power in an 8 Series shell.
The V-8 is paired with an 8-speed Alpina Switch-tronic gearbox developed in partnership with ZF. Power, in turn, is directed to all four wheels through the BMW xDrive system. And as long as the 21-inch tires can hook up, Alpina claims the B8 will launch from 0 to 60 in just 3.3 seconds, with a top speed of 201 mph.
To add a little more emphasis, the B8 Gran Coupe gets a customized exhaust system that Alpina dubs “a stainless steel wonder.” It is designed to reduce backpressure while also enhancing the auditory quality of the engine.
Switching driver modes between “Comfort” and “Sport” will adjust the sound by controlling active exhaust flaps. The mode selector also regulates transmission operation, throttle response, steering and the B8’s active suspension damping system.
Unlike the familiar BMW M models, Alpina navigates a different path towards performance, putting an equal emphasis on driving comfort. Think of it as more in the grand touring tradition. The suspension features revised front axle struts, Eibach springs and reinforced sway bars.
The B8 also adopts an Integral Active Steering system with active all-wheel-steering technology developed by ZF. The rear wheels can pivot up to 2.3 degrees, depending upon driver input and vehicle speed.
To scrub off speed, the Alpina gets a modified four-piston Brembo brake package, 15.6-inch discs up front and 15.7-inch in the rear.
Balancing form and function
As with earlier Alpina entries, the B8 features a number of exterior upgrades that put an emphasis on functionality. That includes larger front air intakes, and a modified rear apron with a black diffuser insert, as well as a small rear spoiler lip.
Inside, the Gran Coupe features a number of new Alpina details, including illuminated door sills, unique walnut trim, a modified steering wheel and a crystal glass iDrive controller with a laser-etched Alpina logo.
Options range from a Bowers & Wilkens surround sound package to a super-light carbon roof.
The 2022 BMW Alpina B8 Gran Coupe will land in U.S. showrooms by late spring and carry a base price of $139,900. Add to that a $995 delivery fee.