Essais > Alpina hopes to raise awareness in Geneva

Alpina hopes to raise awareness in Geneva

 - 01/03/2016

On Thursday Alpina, the German boutique bespoke car company that takes unsuspecting BMWs and turns them into subtle supercars suitable for daily use, announced it has sold a phenomenal 1600 cars over 2015.

While Ford, one of the world's biggest and best-known automotive brands, is preparing to close its dealerships and to stop importing its cars into Japan over the course of the coming year, one very small, very exclusive sportscar brand is celebrating a huge success in the same territory.

While 1600 cars is 100 down on 2014's all-time record, it is still a huge achievement for a tiny firm with a tiny model range topped by its special 50th anniversary edition B5 and B6 models.

Those Edition 50 cars were restricted to 50 sedans, station wagons, coup├ęs and convertibles (200 cars in all). And despite prices ranging from €114,200 to €142,400 the majority were sold to Japanese and German clients.

"There is a steady interest in sophisticated and individual small series automobiles," said Alpina CEO Andreas Bovensiepen. "Our products constantly receive excellent press reviews for their technology and handling. The awareness for BMW Alpina models is growing, and we are proud of our customers' feedback."

And that awareness is about to step up a gear. At this year's Geneva motor show the company will be taking the wraps off its new flagship, the B7. It will be based on BMW's own flagship 7 Series but it promises to blend the standard car's technological wizardry with a ferocious turn of speed.

Alpina is staying tight-lipped about what exactly to expect from the car. It has posted a teaser video showing a camouflaged version of the car being pushed to its limits on the track, but that is all the company is willing to share for the moment.

However, the car is most likely to use a twin-turbocharged 4.4-liter V8 engine that Alpina has been developing and improving upon for several years. In its Edition 50 models, that powerplant delivered 591bhp and a top speed of 204mph. But expect even more for the new car.

This will be crucial because the B7 will be the firm's most important car for the US market and its initial calling card in China. Alpina's goal for the coming year is to break into the Chinese luxury sportscar market. So the B7 needs to something special.