After having driven the BMW M8 Gran Coupe, I came to the conclusion that it’s a good car but a bit of a misstep. It has some incredible qualities, such as brutal straight-line acceleration, tons of technology and stunning good looks. However, it completely lacked any sort of driving enjoyment. That’d be fine in an M850i, honestly, as being a big squishy GT car is okay in an M Performance car. But not in a proper M. However, there may be a car that can remedy the M8’s problems and offer a package that’s better suited to the 8 Series’ skill set — the ALPINA B8 Gran Coupe.
Seen in these new spy photos (which we don’t own but you can see here), you can see the upcoming ALPINA B8 Gran Coupe in very early stages of development. The car actually still wears M850i badges because that’s what it’s based on (ALPINAs are never based on M Division versions) but you can tell that it’s an ALPINA from its wheels, which are unmistakable. When it finally debuts, expect it to look more like the M850i than the M8, with a more reserved, elegant approach to its stying.
Under the skin, though, it will be a monster. It will likely pack the same 4.4 liter twin-turbocharged V8 that powers the ALPINA XB7, which is based on the N63 engine in the M850i. So it should make around 612 horsepower and 590 lb-ft. More importantly, it will be a better engine to use than the BMW version. ALPINA engines are always sweeter, as they’re comprehensively upgraded, rather than just tuned.
ALPINA starts off with a BMW engine but gives it new pistons, new manifolds, new turbochargers, a new intercooler and an engine tune, just to name a few. All of that helps it to not only make more power but have better response and smoother operation. ALPINA engines are just something else, as if they run on a combination of liquid mercury and unicorn tears.
With the ALPINA B8 Gran Coupe, expect a car that fully leans into its grand touring nature; something that’s unbelievably fast but also incredibly smooth and stable. The B8 should feel like it’s capable of 180 mph for ten hours at a time, as that’s how most ALPINAs feel. Considering that’s what the 8 Series lineup should be.
[Source: Motor Authority]