2016 Alpina B6 xDrive Gran Coupe adds All-Wheel Drive; 60 More Horsepower

In recent years, the lack of an M version of the BMW 7 Series meant that the performance-oriented Alpina B7 always had place in the niche market. German tuner Alpina has more recently been modifying the 6 Series for the U.S. market and the tuning firms latest offering, the 2016 Alpina B6 xDrive Gran Coupe seen at the 2015 New York International Auto Show, expands on an already solid program.

Beginning with the exterior upgrades, everything Alpina adds serves a purpose. Up front are remodeled kidney grilles and a functional Alpina-branded front spoiler. Additional ducts have been added to the front bumper to channel gulps of air to cool the massive 14.7-inch front brakes and direct air to various coolers. The hood has also been ever so slightly re-sculpted to manage airflow. The rear bumper has been fitted with a rear diffuser and surrounds for the Alpina quad oval exhaust tips.

The wheels are signature Alpina 20-inch turbines with the integrated central air inflation valve, which prevents the failure at high speeds that external valves are prone to. The impressive 20 x 8.5-inch and 20 x 10-inch Alpina wheels are wrapped with non-run flat Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires capable of the increased top speed.

The suspension has also been revised by Alpina to improve handling and create a neutral feel. Alpina has added stiffer springs, revised dampers and stiffer anti-roll bars all linked to the Alpina-spec torque distribution, stability control and throttle response.

Under the hood is where Alpina has taken great consideration to extract the most power out of the non-M motor. The standard 4.4-liter twin-turbo V8 has been hand-assembled with Mahle pistons. These forged pistons allow for a compression ratio of 10.0:1 and deal with the higher temperatures and 1.2-Bar (17.2 psi) of boost now being pushed by the turbos. The result is 600 horsepower at 6,000 RPM with a peak torque of 590 lb-ft coming on at only 3,500 RPM. More powerful than its predecessor by 60 horsepower, the B6 also sports 40 more horsepower than the BMW M-motor in the M6 and M5!

All of the power is channeled through a gearbox developed specifically for Alpina. In conjunction with ZF, engineers developed the Alpina Switch-Tronic 8-speed automatic transmission, which promises lightning fast shifts and is geared for a higher top speed. The gearbox is also mated to BMW's intelligent xDrive system, giving the 2016 Alpina B6 xDrive Gran Coupe levels of grip the rear-wheel drive M6 Gran Coupe cannot.

The 0-60 mph preliminary numbers are impressive, recording a scant 3.6-second sprint. The data suggests that this is the fastest accelerating Alpina car ever built in the company history. The top speed however is the real jolt here considering the Alpina B6 xDrive Gran Coupe is electronically limited to a staggering 200 mph.

Inside, Alpina has taken liberties to differentiate it from other 6 Series trims. The seats are covered in Lavalina perforated leather with distinctive piping. The steering wheel is leather wrapped and fitted with an Alpina badge. The gauges are now a blue Alpina cluster to denote the tuned components that lurk underneath. The Alpina illuminated door sills and numbered build plaque hint at the limited production of the Alpina B6 xDrive Gran Coupe.

Priced at $118,225 the Alpina B6 xDrive Gran Coupe is a mere $700 more than the BMW M6 Gran Coupe, yet different enough with its capable xDrive and top speed to attract unique buyers. Alpina has always focused on building the cars that the M-division didn't, and the B6 xDrive has that designation once again. BMW of Fremont will see deliveries of the 2016 Alpina B6 xDrive Gran Coupe in June of this year. If you're in the San Jose, Palo Alto, Union City or Fremont, California areas, please stop by and talk to one of our friendly sales associates to learn more about the 2016 Alpina B6 xDrive Gran Coupe.