Meet the most powerful Alpina ever built: the 625bhp Alpina B5 GT | Top Gear
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Meet the most powerful Alpina ever built: the 625bhp Alpina B5 GT

Alpina puts its own spin on BMW’s M5 with a limited run of 250 high-performance GTs

Published: 23 Jan 2023

“For over 50 years, Alpina has been a small antithesis to the automotive mass market,” explains, well, Alpina. And it is for this reason the small tuning company – recently swallowed up by BMW proper – has developed such a cult following. You want one.

One rather suspects that following will be enamoured by this new Alpina B5 GT, not least because it takes a special place in the company’s history: it is the most powerful Alpina ever built.

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That’s one entire horsepower less than BMW M’s own manic M5 CS, launched back in 2021 (and now unavailable for new purchase), though the B5 GT is a handy nine horsepower more than the M5 Competition (available for new purchase).

There’s BMW's venerable 4.4-litre twin-turbo V8 sitting underneath the B5 GT's bonnet delivering 625bhp and 627lb ft of torque, achieved via a “flow-optimised” air intake duct and air intake silencer, and the usual ECU and turbo boost pressure tweaks.

We’re told Alpina engineers were focused on that V8’s “responsiveness and power delivery”, while the ZF eight-speed gearbox has also been subject to a few tweaks. As such, the B5 GT saloon takes less than 3.4s to hit 62mph, the Touring a fraction slower at 3.6s. Plenty fast enough. The saloon maxes out at 205mph, the Touring again a fraction slower at 200mph, ‘slower’ being hugely relative here of course.

Speaking of ‘slower’, Alpina’s fitted Brembo discs and calipers all round together with “highly heat-resistant” pads, and the setup is said to give more direct pedal feedback and improved fading resistance. These hide behind 20in ‘Alpina Classic’ forged alloys, surely 60 per cent of the reason you buy an Alpina.

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There’s been but the slightest of suspension tweaks over the B5 (itself gaining Alpina-spec adaptive dampers and shorter, stiffer springs over the BMW version): a front-end reinforcement said to better steering precision and feedback, along with a reduced rear ride height for the Touring for “optimised roll support”. There’s an Alpina sports exhaust with a new middle silencer for a “throaty eight-cylinder sound”.

Which you’ll be able to enjoy from inside that Alpina-trimmed cabin, bespoke to each buyer who can choose from a variety of interior trim options. Alpina plans on building just 250 of these special B5 GTs, with the saloon costing €145,500 and the Touring €148,500.

“Alpina looks back on a long tradition of small, exclusive limited-edition models, all of which represent the extraordinary,” the company said. “They have become coveted collectors’ and enthusiasts’ items.

“Continuing this tradition of exciting editions, the BMW ALPINA B5 GT was born. It expresses our passion for automotive masterpieces, combining a nuanced, distinct appearance with the most powerful, high-performance drivetrain in the company’s history. The B5 GT marks the pinnacle of the BMW 5 Series at Alpina.” Yeah, you want one.

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