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The new Alpina B5 has queue-jumped the BMW M5

600bhp, 205mph and - hurrah! - an estate version. We want the latest B5 lots

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As you know, there is a new BMW M5 coming very shortly. BMW has detailed its clever all-wheel-drive system that allows it to have its 600bhp-ish cake and eat it. Mega traction when you want to go quick, rear-drive only when you want to be a, erm, wally. We are excited. Mercedes-AMG is a tad nervous.

Alpina, meanwhile, has got thoroughly bored of the striptease and created its own 600bhp version of the new ‘G30’-generarion 5-Series. This is it: the Alpina B5 B-Turbo.

Before we delve into its mouth-watering specification, let’s point out the main reason you’ll want this over the new M5. An advantage BMW simply cannot respond to: fast wagon status.

Yep, you can choose to have your B5 Bi-Turbo in Touring bodystyle. Given BMW’s vowed never to make an M5 estate again, the Alpina has just rocketed up’s want list. The practical choice in our dream garage, if you will.

Other reasons to want the B5 BiTurbo include huge pace. It’s delivered by a 4.4-litre, twin-turbo V8 that’s enjoyed a bespoke air intake, intercooler and turbo set-up to chuck out 600bhp and 590lb ft of torque.

Power is sent to all four wheels all the time (unlucky, drift kings), but the car does employ a rear-axle steering system for the usual agile in the slow stuff/stable on the autobahn result.

Still, if wrecking tyres is your thing, Alpina says: “the DTC Mode of the Dynamic Stability Control offers an even more pronounced rear-wheel-drive torque distribution and allows for more slip when driving at the limit.” Drift kings, put down your flaming torches and pitchforks.

Claimed performance is reassuringly nutty: the B5 saloon does 0-62mph in 3.5 seconds, while the Touring gets there a paltry 0.1sec later. It’ll then run on to a top speed of 201mph (155mph limiter? Pah!), while the saloon pushes on to 205mph. This is a very fast, and, you’d have to agree, very subtle car. And those 20-inch wheels… excuse us, we’re having a moment.

Standard equipment includes a sports exhaust with Comfort and, um, Sport settings for uncorking V8 noises and adaptive suspension with dialed-up stiffness in the racier modes.

Brakes are 395mm a the front and actually slightly larger at the rear: whopping 398mm discs out back, in fact. Ceramic brakes are an option. This is one serious super-saloon. And estate. You want the estate. We do. Had we mentioned that?

The new BMW M5 is finally revealed at the Frankfurt motor show in September. Tell us, would you wait for the own-brand M car, or be brave and go for the ‘tuner’ car?

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