488-HP Alpina B4 Is Next Best Thing To The M4 Gran Coupe BMW Won’t Build


Alpina’s new B4 Gran Coupe is the first fresh product from Alpina since the revelation surfaced that BMW is finally taking full control of the Buchloe-based company.

While both BMW and Alpina offer high performance M- and B-badged versions of the 3-Series sedan and 4-Series two-door coupe, neither company previously offered anything based on the 4-Series Gran Coupe. BMW has no plans to change that stance, but Alpina clearly spotted a gap in the market.

The B4 is based on BMW’s regular 4-Series Gran Coupe, but given Alpina’s trademark subtle, yet muscular makeover with a deep front spoiler, rear lip spoiler and a set of 20-spoke, 20-in forged alloy wheels. The weight of each wheel has been cut to a relatively light 26.5 lbs (12 kg) to help reduce unsprung and rotational mass.

Under the hood is an S58 3.0-liter twin-turbo straight-six making 488 hp (495 hp)
and 539 lb-ft (730 Nm) of torque, which drives both axles through an eight-speed ZF automatic transmission and xDrive all-wheel drive system. Those numbers make it 33 hp (33 PS) and 22 lb-ft (30 Nm) more powerful than the same basic engine already found in the existing B3 sedan, and also put it ahead of the 473 hp (480 PS), 406 lb -ft (550 Nm) M3 sedan. And while the M3 Competition just noses ahead in the power stakes thanks to its 503 hp (510 PS) tally, its 479 lb-ft (650 Nm) torque output is way behind the Alpina’s.

Related: BMW Buys Alpina, Brings Long-Time Collaborator In-House

The B4’s combination of punch and traction is sufficient to push the fastest Gran Coupe to 62 mph (100 km / h) in 3.7 seconds versus 3.5 seconds for the M3 sedan, but while the M3 is limited to 155 mph (250 km / h) in standard form, the Alpina is free to roam right up to 187 mph (301 km / h).

Alpina’s traditional twin focus on luxury and performance means the interior of the B4 has more of a gentleman’s club feel than your typical M3. You get Lavalina leather on the seats and steering wheel, and, of course, a plaque on the console just behind the iDrive controller displaying the car’s build number.

And sticking with that same luxury theme, Alpina claims it has worked hard to calibrate the suspension setup, which includes adaptive dampers and a bespoke Pirelli P Zero tire, to deliver the best possible handling without compromising on ride comfort.

The European order book is open now and buyers slapping down € 91,800 in Germany should get their cars this summer. That equates to around $ 102,000 at current exchange rates, but we’ll have to wait to see exactly how much the B4 will cost when it arrives in North America later this year.

Would you take an Alpina B4 Gran Coupe over an M3 sedan? Leave a comment and let us know.

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