BMW’s 8 Series Gran Coupe is a large vehicle that makes a suitably large impression. And despite its mass, it’s a performer, even in base 840i guise. More than that, it feels special and momentous in a way unlike that of many modern BMWs. The M8 takes this fundamental goodness and stretches it in the performance direction, and now the 2022 Alpina B8 Gran Coupe adds an extra dose of specialness and craftsmanship to the mix.
Consumer in the United States already enjoys a couple of Alpina models at the moment. Specifically, the XB7 and B7 (there are other offerings abroad that we don’t get, too). For the Alpinista looking for a more stylish, more sporting way to get that special Alpina feeling, the B8 Gran Coupe might just be the ticket.
The first impression is pitch perfect. Just look at that dark, rich Alpina Green Metallic seen in the gallery above. This hue, like the also available Blue Metallic, is exclusive to Alpina models. Think of it as a kind of visual secret handshake for those in the know about Alpinas. And if the color doesn’t tip you off, well, there’s the large “ALPINA” spelled out right on the front splitter, prominently under a taillight, and also telegraphed by the 20-spoke Alpina wheels with the iconic red-and-blue shield logo on the hubcap. The large Brembo calipers are also blue with Alpina branding, and while the car still wears BMW roundels, the view under the hood is 100 percent Alpina thanks to a branded engine cover.
That engine, we should mention, does get a little love from Alpina, too. Actually, a lot of love. The twin-turbo 4.4-liter V-8 gets a unique tune and some Alpina-specific components (exhaust, intercoolers, etc.) to produce a stout 612 hp and 590 lb-ft of torque. This sum splits the difference between the outputs of the “base” M8 Gran Coupe (600 hp) and its Competition version (617 hp). It’s also a lot more oomph than what’s founder under the hood of the M850i (523 hp). While the Alpina, which comes equipped exclusively with an eight-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive, is oriented toward long-distance touring, its penchant for cruising doesn’t mean engineers held back on its straight-line accelerative ability. In fact, the B8 can rocket to 60 mph in just 3.3 seconds.
Handling is improved with a few select changes: Eibach springs, stiffer strut mounts, a stiffer front sway bar, and stiffer lower control arm bushings. There are no hardware changes, as far as we can tell, to the 8’s AWD system or rear-axle steering, but Alpina has tuned both systems to its taste.
Inside, there are a few touches that help distinguish the B8 from non-Alpina models. The seats are trimmed with high-quality Merino leather, the instrument panel is covered in hides, and the headliner is a dark gray Alcantara. Illuminated Alpina door sills, a glass iDrive controller with an Alpina logo, and a special build plate all indicate the rarified nature of this 8 Series.
The 2022 BMW Alpina B8 Gran Coupe will run buyers $140,895—about $10,000 more than an M8 Gran Coupe—and will be available in the U.S. before the middle of the year.