Alpina started in 1965 as a tuning and racing shop for BMW models. It would transition to building its own completed models, being a designated automobile manufacturer in Germany since 1983. In the early 2000s, Alpina built the B10 V8 and the hotter B10 V8S based on the E39 5 Series. A new Carwow video has the two Alpina saloons lining up to race another E39 – the M5.
The BMW M5 features the biggest engine, a naturally aspirated 4.9-litre V8 that makes 400 bhp (298 kilowatts) and 368 lb-ft (500 Newton-metres) of torque. It’s the only car in the race with a manual transmission, putting it at a slight disadvantage to the others. It’s also the heaviest at 1,795 kilograms (3,957 pounds), which won’t help it in this race.
Gallery: 2021 BMW M5 Competition: Review
The Alpina B10 V8S has a slightly smaller engine – a naturally aspirated 4.8-litre V8 that makes 380 bhp (283 KW) and 376 lb-ft (510 Nm) of torque. It routes power to the rear wheels through a five-speed automatic transmission while tipping the scales at 1,690 kg (3,725 lbs). The standard Alpina B10 fits a smaller 4.6-litre V8 under its bonnet, making 340 bhp (253 kW) and 346 lb-ft (470 Nm). It’s also 30 kg (66 lbs) lighter and features a five-speed auto.
The V8S blasted ahead of the rest in the first drag race, completing the quarter mile in a respectable 14.6 seconds. It took the regular M5 14.8 seconds, while the B10 V8 needed 15.2 seconds to finish the race.
In the first rolling race, the B10 V8 almost beat the more potent B10 V8S, but an untimely gear change allowed the V8S to win. The M5 was even with the two Alpina saloons at the start, but it fell way behind. The next rolling race from 30 miles per hour had the M5 get a much better start, staying even with the other two. However, it didn’t cross the finish line first, which was an honour the B10 V8 earned. The B10 V8S finished last.
A second rolling race from 50 mph had the M5 well ahead of the other two Alpina cars. It took first, followed by the V8S in second and the V8 in third. With the cars being far from new, the crew performed a modified brake test from 30 miles per hour. The M5 edged out the others for a victory.