2015 BMW Alpina B6 xDrive Gran Coupe Details:
Alpina remains a niche product in the US, but its tuning methodology -- which favors drivability versus all-out racetrack performance -- has developed a loyal following. According to BMW, a large number of buyers of the 7 Series-based B7 were repeat Alpina customers. They’ll be happy to know that the next model wearing the Alpina badge in the US is the B6 xDrive Gran Coupe, which, as its name suggests, is based on the 6 Series Gran Coupe. The Alpina B6 made its debut at the Geneva Motor Show this week.
Like the B7, the B6 has a twin-turbo 4.4-liter V-8 (though with 540hp and 540 lb-ft of torque) and eight-speed automatic, but, unlike the B7, it is only available with all-wheel drive. In terms of performance, the system is more rear biased than the standard BMW xDrive, and helps return estimated 0-60 mph acceleration of 3.7sec -- making it the fastest-accelerating Alpina yet. Performance-minded BMW fans in the Snow Belt should appreciate the availability of a standard all-wheel drive, too.
The Alpina treatment is fairly comprehensive. The engine has an entirely new cooling system and revised turbos, resulting in more boost. The transmission has been recalibrated for faster, more responsive up-shifts. The new exhaust system adjusts to the mode selected by the driver, opening up flaps in sport mode and shutting them in comfort mode. Electric dampers and active anti-roll come standard, but the dampers and spring rates have been retuned. The braking system, including the 14.7-in front rotors and 13.6-in rear rotors, is from the V-12-powered 760i.
A subtle exterior treatment includes 20-in wheels, two additional Alpina color options, and minor aerodynamic adjustments, which are the result of wind tunnel testing. A new front splitter proudly wears the Alpina name while NACA ducts underneath the fascia route air to cool the brakes. The claimed top speed is 198mph. Interior adjustments are similarly restrained, consisting of Alpina-specific trim, a hand-stitched steering wheel, and different upholstery. BMW also offers a personalization option, allowing customers to customize colors and materials.
At $118225, the B6 is closer in price to the Mercedes-Benz CLS63 and Audi RS 7 than the Panamera Turbo, but its wide-ranging list of competitors also includes Maserati. Considering the popularity of the B7 and its pleasing handing and ride quality, we expect the B6 to fill its niche nicely.