The predecessor of the Alpina B8, which is currently one of the most expensive saloons to wear a BMW or Alpina badge, was the B6. Sold as a performance-oriented version of the BMW 6 Series (F12), it was a large four-door coupe-saloon with a stylish exterior and a powerful 4.4-litre twin-turbo V8 engine. But back in the early 1990s, Alpina had a very different car wearing the same name.
The B6 2.8 was essentially a more hardcore version of the 3 Series (E36), which made its debut during the 1991 Geneva Motor Show. It was based on the BMW 325i and was powered by a modified 2.8-litre inline-six engine. The specialists from Buchloe mounted new camshafts, Mahle pistons, and a performance exhaust system. The result was a more powerful and faster 3 Series before the M3 (E36) arrived later that decade.
Thanks to several other tweaks made to the engine, it was upgraded to deliver a peak output of 240 bhp and 293 Nm of torque – very respectable figures for a compact saloon even by today’s standards. The power was sent to the rear wheels through a five-speed manual gearbox and there was also an optional five-speed automatic. Bigger and better-ventilated discs at the front provided the stopping power.
But how fast a 1992 Alpina B6 2.8 actually is? There’s a new video from the Petrolhead Number One channel on YouTube, which takes us to unrestricted sections of the Autobahn behind the wheel of a B6 2.8. The car feels very lively on the highway for its age and easily reaches speeds above 124 miles per hour. The speedometer even shows 155 mph but the maximum GPS-verified velocity registered is around 149 mph.
It’s impressive to see that this 30-years-old performance saloon can almost fully achieve its factory performance numbers. The claimed top speed is 155 mph and the sprint from 0 to 62 mph is 6.9 seconds. It’s also important to note that this is a relatively rare car as Alpina assembled just 180 saloons and 40 coupes from the B6 2.8 before it was replaced by the more powerful B6 3.0.