What started in a building that used to produce typewriters has come quite a long way. The Alpina that you know today actually came to be as far back as 1965, when Burkard Bonvensiepen began a business of tuning the BMW products of his era. This involved tinkering with carbs and revising cylinder heads. It quickly turned into a business, and that business quickly produced vehicles that were winning on race tracks. By 1983, Alpina became an officially recognized producer of automobiles and both BMW and Alpina have enjoyed a lasting relationship centered on the creation of potent Bavarian beastly machines.
To celebrate its 50 years of automotive production, what does a company like Alpina do? Why build another automobile to celebrate it all. Enter the Alpina B5 and B6 Bi-Turbo Edition 50. Each is a take on their respective existing Alpina models, which themselves are the revised results that started with the BMW 5-Series and 6-Series respectively. The Edition 50 ups the ante over the standard cars by taking advantage of a 4.4-liter twin-turbo engine that's been pushed even harder.
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Under the hood of each is an engine that produces 600 horsepower and 590 pound-feet of torque. This makes them the most powerful Alpina road cars ever produced, and it helps push the Edition 50s to a top speed of 204 mph. Thing about that. It's over 200 miles... per... hour... in a 5-Series sedan. From there, Alpina adds revised exterior and interior trim work to help set the Edition 50 apart from the "standard" B5 and B6 Bi-Turbo. There will be just 50 produced of each, and B5 customers can opt for either the sedan or the wagon.
It's that last bit that has us even more sad that this isn't coming to the States in any form. Specifically though, a 600-horsepower Alpina B5 Bi-Turbo Edition 50 wagon is exactly the sort of thing that us forbidden fruit-loving Americans long for, and we're pretty much never going to see on local roads.
That isn't to say there are no Alpina products on these shores. Some recent arrivals include the B6 xDrive Gran Coupe as well as the B7.