BMW’s famed M division is synonymous with the German automaker’s performance vehicles. But more nebulous is what Alpina is to the company and what makes cars like the 2022 BMW Alpina B8 Gran Coupe stand out from BMW’s other 8 Series Gran Coupe models.
Germany’s Ministry of Transport recognizes Alpina as an automobile manufacturer in its own right, so there’s a sense of independence to the vehicles it produces based on BMW models. There’s also a kind of intrigue to Alpina, that you must be in the know to understand just what you’re getting with cars like the 2022 BMW Alpina B8 Gran Coupe.
What we know after testing the B8 is that it represents more of what we’ve come to expect from modern Alpinated BMWs—a mix of explosive performance with a luxurious, grand touring sensibility.
The engine bay is one of the areas where Alpina tinkers with BMW hardware. Indeed, the B8’s 4.4-liter twin-turbo V-8, while a smidge down on power compared to the M8 Competition’s engine variant (612 hp for Alpina versus 617 for the M8), gains a healthy 37 lb-ft of torque versus the M8 at 590 lb-ft all in. The B8’s engine is backed by BMW’s ZF-sourced eight-speed automatic. That transmission is another area where Alpina makes changes, including adding its signature shift paddles, and the car comes with BMW’s xDrive all-wheel drive and rear-wheel steering as standard equipment.