Today is officially a very good day, for it begins with news of a new Alpina. More specifically the gorgeous Alpina B8 Gran Coupe—a subtler, rarer, altogether cooler and softer-edged alternative to BMW’s own M8 Gran Coupe.
Let’s run through the specs. “Optimized turbocharging and cooling systems” mean BMW’s ubiquitous 4.4-liter twin-turbocharged V8 makes 612hp and 806Nm of torque. The former is 89hp more than you get in the M850i (from which the B8 is derived) and just 4hp shy of the M8, while the latter is 57Nm more than the 850i and the exact same as the M8. Nil to 100kph takes 3.3sec and the top speed is 323kph. It’ll do a quarter-mile in 11.5sec.
Alpina claims the eight-speed ZF automatic gearbox has “undergone substantial development work.” Meanwhile, the suspension has been beefed-up with Eibach springs and much besides, the brakes are by Brembo, the xDrive all-wheel drive system has been augmented with a limited-slip differential, and Alpina has wrapped special Pirelli tires around its classic 20-spoke alloys (here 21 inches in diameter). Interestingly, the B8 also gets rear-wheel steering—something the M8 does without.
With the exception of big ‘Alpina’ lettering up front, the B8 is a subtle thing. The front bumper has bigger cutouts for better cooling, while out back, there’s a little lip spoiler and quad exhausts. Inside is per the standard car, but trimmed in special leathers and with a load of normally optional equipment thrown in gratis.
The B8 costs from £134,950 (P9.02 million)—in the same ballpark as an M8 with a few options. Which one’s your money going on?
More photos of the Alpina B8 Gran Coupe:
NOTE: This article first appeared on TopGear.com. Minor edits have been made.