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Exclusive: BMW’s Alpina arrives in Australia

B4 confirmation: GoAuto spied Australia's first official BMW Alpina in the form of a B4 Biturbo Coupe in pride of place at Doncaster BMW's flagship showroom in Melbourne.

Melbourne's Doncaster BMW spearheads hot Alpina range introduction for Australia

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BMW logo16 Jun 2016

By DANIEL GARDNER

BMW’S exclusive range of hot and luxurious Alpina-enhanced models that have previously been denied Australia are arriving Down Under, with the first example already on local soil.

Melbourne-based dealership Doncaster BMW is Australia's first outlet for the range of tuned-up luxury models, overseeing Alpina distribution for Victoria and Tasmania, but more franchisees are set to follow in other states.

Doncaster BMW and The In Motion Group managing director Ingo Reisch said: “For the first time ever, BMW Alpina is offered in the Australian market.

“We, at The In Motion Group, are the distributor along with selected BMW retail outlets across Australia that have been appointed to handle the bespoke retail experience of this sought-after product.”

Mr Reisch told GoAuto that Alpina was not expected to be a volume seller for the company but served an important role alongside the factory-built range of M-models as a halo for the brand.

As the first dealership to apply for rights to the Alpina range, Doncaster BMW’s deal has been in the making since 2013. The agreement with Alpina and BMW will allow the sale of up to 100 Alpinas a year.

The dealership chain – with two large premises in Melbourne – is already proudly displaying Australia's first Alpina B4 Biturbo coupe at centre stage in its freshly renovated and expanded showroom in Melbourne's east.

When the range introduction reaches full speed about November this year, it will be joined by the 4 Series convertible-based B4, as well as the 3 Series-based B3 Biturbo sedan and wagon.

As GoAuto reported in August last year, the Australian design rule (ADR) certification process was started for the Alpina B4 coupe in February last year.

The arrival of the Alpina B4 Biturbo Coupe and Convertible will take the proliferating range of 4 Series-variants to more than 30 in Australia when all body-style, engine and transmission combinations are taken into account.

BMW Group Australia is yet to make the official announcement about Alpina, but confirmation from head office is expected within a fortnight.

Alpina is an independent BMW tuning specialist but has intimate ties with the German car-maker and is recognised by the German transport ministry as an official vehicle manufacturer.

Some fabrication work is done at the company's headquarters in Buchloe, Bavaria, while other works are done in parallel with BMW's in-house production.

This includes production of the 7 Series-based Alpina B7, which is built on the same line as the BMW flagship in Dingolfing.

With a more luxury focus, automatic transmissions and torque-tuned engines, the range of Alpina models are not generally regarded as a competitor to BMW's M-powered range of high-performance cars.

In the case of the B4, the Alpina treatment boosts power of the 4 Series 3.0-litre six-cylinder to 301kW – just 16kW shy of the M4 – but torque swells to a meaty 600Nm – 50Nm in front of the M-powered version. Acceleration to 100km/h from standstill takes 4.2 seconds, 0.1 seconds slower than the M4.

In addition to the performance enhancements, all Alpina models wear the trademark snow-plough front bumper and pin-striping along the belt line, while also rolling on the company's coveted 20-spoke alloy wheel. Interiors are fettled with flashes of Alpina's green and blue calling-card colours.

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