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Car reviews - BMW - Alpina B4 - Coupe

Overview

Alpina B4 takes a softer approach to BMW M4 and the results are impressive

BMW logo15 Mar 2017

By NEIL DOWLING

IT’S a simple formula of cherry picking cars off the mainstream production line and sending them to an enhancement centre. Locally, HSV and FPV were masters at adding power and polish to more pedestrian Commodores and Falcons.

It’s also not new. History is full of specialist tuning shops that tweaked hum-drum production cars into sparkling competition-ready machines with eye-watering performance. Think Abarth to Fiat and Lancia Shelby to Ford John Cooper to Mini Gordini to Renault Prodrive to Volvo AMG to Mercedes-Benz Nismo to Nissan. And Alpina to BMW.

The Alpina exercise is pure symbiosis. It started as an individual – Alpina founder Burkard Bovensiepen – who in 1965 made a Weber dual-carburettor kit for the (then) new BMW 1500. Through the years, Alpina cemented its relationship with BMW and provided tuning exclusively for the brand. But it remains an independent company and is classed by the German ministry of transport as a manufacturer in its own right.

The first Alpina B4 sold in Australia came out of the WA specialists Alpina Automobiles Perth that is integrated into Auto Classic, the state’s sole BMW agents. Sales manager Paul Silverton said the inquiry rate is strong so more B4s are on order.

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Model release date: 1 November 2016

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