For some BMW purists, the 8 Series sedan isn’t enough. Fine. How about the 2022 BMW Alpina B8 Gran Coupe? It’s quick, stunningly attractive and rare with about 2,000 manufactured for those with discriminating tastes, the need for more performance and possessing deep pockets.
Founded in 1965, Alpina, the German customization specialty company, and BMW have maintained a long business relationship. The former works independently but it’s also permanently partnered with BMW. The collaboration morphs into vehicles greater than the sum of the two companies.
Powered by a twin-turbocharged 4.4-liter V8 that produces 612 horsepower, the 2022 BMW Alpina B8 Gran Coupe is positioned between the M8’s 600 horsepower and the M8 Competition’s 617 horsepower. Its stablemates are slightly quicker as if acceleration from zero to 60 miles per hour in 3.3 seconds isn’t fastest enough. The top speed is 201 miles per hour.
2022 BMW Alpina B8 Gran Coupe: More Torque
For torque fanciers, the Alpina has 590 lb-ft of torque, 47 more than either M8. It also features an Alpina-tuned eight-speed transmission. Shift paddles are included, with BMW’s xDrive all-wheel-drive available. Rear-wheel steering is standard. The gearbox is quick and crisp, although shifting requires a knack for finesse, not aggressive moves.
As bravado-ridden as BMW gets, the Alpina also includes an adaptive sport suspension. The carmaker touts it offers superior ride comfort and cornering abilities. BMW is right. If the rigid driving personality of the German carmaker is appealing, the Alpina does it better, softening the manufacturer’s signature stiffness.
Accelerate while cornering. Accelerate while maneuvering through traffic. Accelerate while ascending or descending. Maintain a high speed on the highway or move around in city driving. The gran coupe is prideful without pretentiousness.
Alpina reports it has amended the standard four-wheel steering system. The rear wheels turn up to 2.3 degrees at low and medium speeds for more agile handling. Front and rear wheels turn in sync at high speeds for more stable cruising.
The 2022 BMW Alpina B8 Gran Coupe, unlike other BMWs, has superior space for two rear seat occupants. Its comfort, including a large, multi-use pulldown console, makes the front seats less spacious.
2022 BMW Alpina B8 Gran Coupe: Tight Front Seats
While adjustable to many positions, the independent cabins are tight. The giant-sized front console steals some of the available acreage. The customized 8 Series also has a sloping roofline, meaning a less comfortable experience for tall back seat passengers.
BMW does the interior appointments handsomely. Materials include top-grade leather seating and an untreated Lavalina leather-wrapped steering wheel.
Further accouterments: Alpina treadplates, a crystal iDrive controller with a laser-etched Alpina logo. The interior also features Walnut Anthracite high gloss. Open any doors and the sills illuminate with the word Alpina. The Alpina branding is also on the floor mats. It’s all big, bold automotive bling.
Exterior upgrades are readily apparent. Jumbo-sized air intakes, a black rear diffuser and a decklid spoiler add sporty class. The Alpina badge on the trunk is traditional and handsome.
The German customizer has also added a 20-spoke design in a standard 21-inch size wrapped in custom Pirelli rubber. Four-piston Brembo brake calipers in bright cobalt blue clamp 15.6-inch rotors are on the front and 15.7 inches are positioned on the rear.
2022 BMW Alpina B8 Gran Coupe: Purists’ Joy
The 2022 BMW Alpina B8 Gran Coupe is available standard in the carmaker’s signature metallic colors, Alpina blue and Alpina green. But other exterior colors are available.
Technology is all neat but not tidy with BMW’s iDrive software, the combination of touchscreen, physical controls, voice commands and gestures isn’t intuitive. But it’s all worthy. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity are standard and can connect either via USB or wirelessly. The Bowers & Wilkins premium audio upgrade is $3,400.
The bottom line: Fully decked out, the 2022 BMW Alpina B8 Gran Coupe checks in at just under $150,000. For the BMW crowd, it’s likely a deal. For the rest of us, not so much.