After last year’s presentation of the B8 at the Salzburgring, we’ve been very happy to accept Alpina’s invitation to join the team once again at the Bilster Berg circuit in northern Germany. In this specific track, back in 2020, we had the chance to drive the Bmw Alpina B3 and now, after 2 years, we can’t wait to test the new cars based on the 4 Series Gran Coupè, the B4 and D4S. After the B8, Alpina is adding another four-door coupè to its model line-up, where Bmw has no M version in its range, offered both in the Petrol and Diesel option.
Sun is shining in a early Wednesday morning and, after an interesting briefing with the guys from Buchloe, at the paddock we find all the model range waiting for us. The LCI (facelift) B3 and D3S, with the upgraded infotainment and the more powerful engines, the LCI B8 and the B4 and D4S.
The B4 Gran Coupé features the same straight-six 3.0 liter engine with bi.turbo charging as the new B3 LCI, known for its superior power development, torque and smoothness. The goal for the engineers was to increase the engine output and improve the driving performance while maintaining Alpina Philosophy of low-end torque. Based on the BMW S58 engine, it is fitted with ALPINA specific flow-optimized turbine housings to effectively convert exhaust gas energy into boost pressure at low engine speeds. The large intercooler increases the efficiency of the charging system. An optimized air intake duct with large-volume air filter housings aids engine response. The power delivery is effortless throughout the full rpm range, generating now 495 hp of power (+33 hp) and 730 nm of torque (+30 nm). Plenty of power reserves, combined with the newest ZF 8-Speed Sport Automatic Transmission, means acceleration from 0 to 100 km/h in just 3.7 seconds, with a top speed of 301 km/h.
The all-wheel drive is based on the BMW xDrive system, which allows for a fully variable torque distribution between the front and rear axle. In addition, the electronically controlled rear limited-slip differential ensures optimal traction and agility. The variable sports steering offers direct feel and feedback. The driver can choose between three steering modes: the Comfort mode that offers balanced directional stability with a good safety feeling into the higher-speed range, while the Sport and Sport Plus modes are characterized by substantially more direct feedback, perfect for fast driving.
The Bilster Berg track is defined as a “mini-Nordschleife”: full of elevation changes, fast turns and difficult braking points. It’s a vehicle-dynamics tour-de-force and a great track able to emphasize, once again, the B4 excellent qualities. As a true Gran Turismo, the B4 Gran Coupé combines emotional driving dynamics with comfortable touring. The track is not its only habitat, but it’s definitely the perfect training ground to get acquainted with it. The great and pleasing stability in high speed corners, thanks also to specific tires developed together with Pirelli, mixed with the immense torque and smooth ride, remind us that what Alpina achieves is a remarkable sense of balance between all different components and areas of the car.
What for us is “magic” for Alpina’s is a long and articulate work of engineering: besides the excellent drivetrain, the suspension set up is where Alpina truly stands out. As a true Gran Turismo, the B4 combines emotional driving dynamics with comfortable touring. While the racetrack is the perfect ground where to get closer to its, very high, limits, the Alpina B4 is a car to be savored on twisty roads everyday. Each input you give to the car, you’ll be pleased with the remarkable feeling that makes you feel you’re driving a car of another league in terms of quality and performance.