BMW’s M Performance division models offer pretty much anything a petrolhead can ask. That also stands for the current M5 – which raises the question why would anyone choose the 5-Series-based Alpina B5 instead.
Well, the answer is that the German tuner is marketing it as a more comfortable M5 alternative. The Alpina B5 is based on the M550i xDrive, but its 4.4-liter twin-turbo V8 now puts out an extra 146 PS (144 hp / 107 kW) and 150 Nm (111 lb-ft) of torque, lifting the output to a total of 608 PS (600 hp / 447 kW) and 800 Nm (590 lb-ft) of torque. The stock M5, on the other hand, has 600 PS (592 hp / 441 kW) and 750 Nm (553 lb-ft) of torque.
Thanks to the extra oomph, the B5 goes to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 3.5 seconds. The 0-200 km/h (0-124 mph) acceleration is completed in 11.4 seconds and maxes out at 330 km/h (205 mph). As for the regular M5, it’s 0.1 seconds quicker to 100 km/h (62 mph), and with the optional M Driver’s Package has a top speed of 305 km/h (190 mph).
Buying a B5 gets you not only a ferocious performance, but also a tuned chassis, which actually makes the day-to-day ride more pleasant. As DriveAustralia puts it, while the M5 feels right at home at the track, the Alpina is a more refined cruiser. It combines the race-car performance with the comfort of a limousine and jams everything into a package that starts at over AUD $210,000 (equal to USD $149,939) Down Under.