Driving the 2022 BMW Alpina B8 Gran Coupe

Distinguished drive.

When looking for a speedy luxury car, you’ll likely find an accommodating vehicle in BMW’s vast portfolio. But if you’re after something special, ask for an Alpina. The 2022 BMW Alpina B8 Gran Coupe is a vehicle that starts life as a BMW 8 Series but is then whisked to another factory to be transformed to cater to the most distinguished automotive connoisseurs. A specially tuned motor, sexy Alpina exclusive paints and wheels, the handcrafted interior, and a practically perfect ride combine to make this car feel like nothing else fitted with a BMW badge.

Not everyone can pick out what makes an Alpina so extraordinary, but we are eager to share with you the details and impressions noted during a quick test drive of the brands’ (Alpina is an independent manufacturer) latest work of art.



You can spot an Alpina model thanks to its exclusive look. Two paint finishes, Alpina Blue Metallic and Alpina Green Metallic, reserved exclusively for BMW Alpina automobiles, glisten in the sunlight with a sparkle hard to find elsewhere in the BMW palette.

Our tester sports Green Metallic, which enhances the other unique design elements. There are larger air intakes in the front, as well as a rear diffuser and subtle black trunk-lid spoiler.

But the standout accessories are the 20-spoke, 21-inch wheels: the iconic Alpina signature. At a standstill or in motion, these look sublime—although, you have to wonder how long it might take to clean all those spokes.



Under the hood is a 4.4-litre twin-turbo V8. That may sound like the mill found in other BMW 8 Series, but Alpina outfits the motor with extra cooling to optimize the power output and delivery. There are three external coolers, more than on a BMW M850i.

The 612 horsepower and 590 lb-ft of torque arrive smoothly, which leads to a confident and luxurious experience on the road. It’s hard to imagine a situation where the B8 Grand Coupé is at a loss for speed or acceleration. It can achieve 100 kilometres an hour from a standstill in just 3.3 seconds thanks to the xDrive AWD system and features a top speed of 323 kilometres an hour.

The smooth power delivery may mute a bit of the exhilaration, but Alpina pairs the engine with a stainless steel exhaust system that provides the perfect soundtrack for speed, bold without being boisterous. The vehicle’s rarity speaks for itself as there are between 1,200 and 1,700 Alpinas made per year, less than a quarter of Ferrari’s output.


The automaker has also perfected the ride and handling of this large executive four-door speed machine. Now, I was expecting the harshness of the BMW M8, or the large-and-in-charge attitude of the less sporty M850i, but the Alpina B8 was far softer and more comfortable than standard BMWs. The car’s large size disappears once you start handling it, and the steering responds with the speed of a true grand tourer.

The suspension setup on the standard 8 Series is upgraded with hydro mounts up front, stiffer struts, and Eibach springs, which help deliver the balanced ride. The front sway bars are reinforced, and the lower wishbone mounts get stiffer, which further develops the responsiveness.

How can we overlook the tires that make this car so unforgettable? A special Pirelli rubber compound wrapped around each wheel provides superb grip, and the front tires have extra sound insulation, delivering a quiet ride.



Finally, it’s impossible to get out of an Alpina without discussing the interior. The plaque by the centre gear selector and the laser-engraved logo on the iDrive controller are compelling, but the real glamour is everywhere else in the cabin. Alpina models come with walnut anthracite high-gloss trim and other luxurious accents. There is also wonderfully soft merino leather upholstery, a leather-covered instrument panel, and an anthracite Alcantara headliner to round out the interior. Lastly, the steering wheel is hand-finished with natural, untreated Lavalina leather, which feels unlike anything else you’ve had in a car.

That’s the general consensus with the Alpina B8 Gran Coupe. To the average bystander, it seems like just another BMW 8 Series, but those in the know, as well as the driver, understand that this is an ultra-exclusive grand touring car with plenty of appreciated upgrades.