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Big Blue

First journey

Here it is on the driveway:





So, what can I say? In the words of Clarkson: "POWER"

Fuck knows what an edition 50 feels like with 600bhp because this one is monsterous. The speed gains are stupendous, such that a prod of the accelerator at 140kph means 220kph arrives like 30-50 feels like in any other car. With no fuss, drama and only the muted rumble of the engine. This was highlighted on a stretch of autobahn outside Stuttgart when I encountered a B6S (another Alpina ) and we annihilated every other vehicle in a 240-250kph meander. The car felt like it wasn't even stretching itself. That was my V-max on the journey, some 30-35kph short of top speed. Sorry chaps

Ah, that engine noise: I need to explain further. Obviously the Alpina philosophy is subtlety but we all have some inner child to entertain so they make sure it's possible. I only realised this when exiting a peage, where two gendarmes were chatting next to the booth I was at. I had the window open and pulled away sensibly but not slowly. The rumble was a bit more than I had heard before as I had the window open and it must have been more impressive still from the outside as I looked in the rear view mirror to see the two flics turn round with goggly eyes and "what the fuck was that" eyebrows.

But it has added benefits like comfort: I drove 9hrs stopping only for petrol (twice!) and felt no tiredness or discomfort. OK so it's got those super huge Luxo-seats that blow air at you and a level of toys that mean all you do is steer but nevertheless as a former 500SEC and A* owner I can advise you from experience that this is comfortable. It also has poise.

At the French border there was a diversion to join the AutoRoute network and I went through some French D road. At 90kph this 2 tonne estate car behaves in a manner no car this size has a right to. There was one down side (one which I have experienced before in a rental car in France) I nicked a rear rim on the sticky-out inner kerb on a round about in the centre of the ville. Lots of swearing and a visit to the refurb once UK registration is complete!      

The toys in modern cars are ludicrous and there are now several things I now have added to the "must have" list. HUD and active seats, for example, are things I've lived without but must have for evermore.

So, what's bad? Anthacite headlining is an option. WTF is the fuss about? Can't see it myself but I suppose it is a sort of step-up from the normal stuck-on velour. The wheels are farcical and the stance makes driving through the euro tunnel train harrowing. How do Ferrari's and stuff go in there?

Staying with the wheels, the tyres are not all Michelin PS so I have an expense to deal with (this is an Alpina-mentalist thing so my issue as opposed to anyone elses). And finally the fuel tank. At 22.7mpg for 700miles at 74.5mph average in needs the 80l tank I had in the B10. It took 66l with 4miles showing on the "fuel left" indicator and that's just not big enough.

One thing I learned on the journey: I don't want any other make of car again. It's brutal and growling yet gentle and cossetting when required hence the name I have given it.

The Gorilla.
Big Blue

Of course, I wanted this colour, but the service guy that owned this LOVELY wrapped 520d said "nein".



simonp

Could've gone joined that Arab fella in Knightsbridge.
Andy C

sounds great , jeff .
TreVoR

Guess you like it then? Looks great.
Martin

It looks and sounds great, very nice indeed (apart from the name...). I particularly like the subtle look due to the colour and rear end free from the normal row of badges. Took me a second to figure out why it looked a bit strange...no roof rails.

The F11 is extremely refined which is why it will sound muted, but that's just how a big saloon/estate should be imho. A realistic 250-300 mile range won't be an issue for the miles you do, but will be mildly annoying when you use it on European trips. Mine does 500-500 and I wish it did more.

I don't think the B5 Touring is available anymore, just the D5, but I will be very interested to see what they do with the new model.

Edit: Doesn't the standard model have 600hp now?
Racing Teatray

Jolly nice. I do like the German habit of not having roof rails on estate cars.
PG

Less is always more. Subtle, yet deadly.
Excellent!
Michael

I'm pleased for you, it's some weapon. Alpinas are just fabulous in the way they go about doing their thing. I was behind the wheel of an e92 M3 last week and brilliant as it was it lacked the magic of an Alpina. I'll have to get another at some point.
franki68

That's great,such a rare sight as well.
Frank Bullitt

Is it more appealing than that Ferrari 456 you once promised yourself?

I suspect it is, I'd love to try an Alpina
Andy C

Michael wrote:
I was behind the wheel of an e92 M3 last week


Do tell more..
Blarno

Welcome Gorilla.
Michael

Andy C wrote:
Michael wrote:
I was behind the wheel of an e92 M3 last week


Do tell more..


Very fast, sounded sensational.
PhilD

Re: First journey

Big Blue wrote:

. The wheels are farcical and the stance makes driving through the euro tunnel train harrowing. How do Ferrari's and stuff go in there?


They don't, they go in with the coaches!

Car sounds amazing. I am, to quote the youth of today, well jel.
Big Blue

Martin wrote:


I don't think the B5 Touring is available anymore, just the D5, but I will be very interested to see what they do with the new model.

Edit: Doesn't the standard model have 600hp now?


B5 touring is still available on Alpina.de configurator I think, and yes they have 600BHP now.

As to roof rails: Alpina don't come with them (it's a NCO) and I THINK they would be an option on BMW.de. UK specs are "normalised" to include them, and a lot of other kit that is classed as an option in Germany.
Martin

It's not on the UK configurator any more and roof rails are a cost option. I may have built myself a D5.....it wasn't cheap!

The B5 is better equipped than the D5 with Merino leather as standard, along with leather dash, professional Nav, upgraded speakers, leather trimmed mats etc.
gooner

That does look awesome Jeff and very subtle indeed, but with the deko set for those in the know. It will certainly frighten a few wide boys on the north circular!
Big Blue

Frank Bullitt wrote:
Is it more appealing than that Ferrari 456 you once promised yourself?

I suspect it is, I'd love to try an Alpina


Yes. I get the feeling it will start every time I get in it and won't offer up a 5k service once a year. Plus living in a SW London-suburban semi I'll look less of a twat with a fancy 5-series than a Ferrari.

I now have a NOVA number from HMRC so all I need is the mutuality certification to get a UK plate.
Racing Teatray

I saw a very crestfallen-looking bloke sitting in a silver T-reg 456M at the side of the Kings Rd yesterday morning with the hazards on and the bonnet popped. Hope he had a good warranty.
Giant

Absolutely stunning.

Are Alpinas more common in Germany? I imagine the chances of meeting a second Alpina on the same stretch of road in the uk are slim to none.

Saying that, I did see an Alpina today, an Alpina X3 ( BX3? DX3? B3X? X3B?) the low skirts and decals looked really wrong on such a tall vehicle and the ride appeared very hard as it was bucking and pogoing over bumps, which surprised me as I always thought Alpinas rode well.
Big Blue

XD3.

Horrible. Papa Burkhard Bovensiepen was against it but Florian and Andreas (sons) pushed it through as "lifestyle" was marketable. I don't think we'll see another.

There are more Alpinas in Germany, especially petrol ones in percentage terms. Hence my foray....
Twelfth Monkey

Very tidy.  Cars are like dogs - they need exercise, remember!
Roadrunner

Excellent. Refined, effortless waftability, with stelth and power in equal measure. Sounds like my perfect car.
Bob Sacamano

That does look lovely. Rev the tits of it every morning for your neighbours' benefit.
Chris M Wanted a V-10

Big Blue wrote:
Of course, I wanted this colour, but the service guy that owned this LOVELY wrapped 520d said "nein".

Banana yellow for The Gorilla seems impressive and appropriate; get it wrappped in the UK !

I challenge you to put a KA ## AKA plate on it !

(or GR 11 LLA maybe ???)
Bob Sacamano

Re: First journey

Big Blue wrote:


One thing I learned on the journey: I don't want any other make of car again. It's brutal and growling yet gentle and cossetting when required hence the name I have given it.

The Gorilla.


I like what you did there; used the German version of the English word.
PhilD

Re: First journey

Big Blue wrote:


When I encountered a B6S (another Alpina ) and we annihilated every other vehicle in a 240-250kph meander. The car felt like it wasn't even stretching itself. That was my V-max on the journey, some 30-35kph short of top speed. Sorry chaps



285kph = 177mph. Thought it was a 190+mph machine?
Big Blue

Re: First journey

PhilD wrote:


285kph = 177mph. Thought it was a 190+mph machine?


I need to correct myself. The EU CoC states the top speed as 303kph, so 189.375mph. I really don't think I'm ever going to go beyond 260 or so, mainly because every time I'm in Germany from now the kids will be in the car.
Martin

Out of interest, there's a similar age B5 saloon for sale at Sytner, but the advert states that it has 540hp. Is that right and if so, why the difference?
PhilD

Re: First journey

Big Blue wrote:
PhilD wrote:


285kph = 177mph. Thought it was a 190+mph machine?


I need to correct myself. The EU CoC states the top speed as 303kph, so 189.375mph. I really don't think I'm ever going to go beyond 260 or so, mainly because every time I'm in Germany from now the kids will be in the car.


Maybe get up very early one day you are in Germany just to make sure the EU CoC (whatever that is?) is correct?  
Big Blue

Martin wrote:
Out of interest, there's a similar age B5 saloon for sale at Sytner, but the advert states that it has 540hp. Is that right and if so, why the difference?


s1 (mine) has 507; s2 was tweaked to 540 and whatever they've done to the current ones to get 600 is their business. Mine is Touring number 15, so quite an early one. Be interesting to know what actual build date that one was and if I was buying it I'd check the CoC to see it had the 540PS motor. I looked at a couple of 2012 B5 Tourings in Germany with 540PS and they were 6-8k more.

To put my purchase into perspective, that one is a saloon with 10k miles less than mine and relatively poverty spec compared to mine and they want almost 2k more than I paid.

Phil: EU CoC is the Certificate of Conformity. Every car has one to say it meets the requirement of the EU for product approval. It means importing a car between EU states is easy (apart from the UK because we have a steering wheel thing).
Alf McQueef

Looks amazing BB - I involuntarily grinned at the first pic there! Lovely machine and it must about the ideal car in the real world - though I think its probably one of many. I've been astounded at the comfort, equipment, ride and so on of mine, and the way you can go from wafting along to totally door-handling it without even changing any settings. These sorts of cars are very, very good - and they are also very, very good value second hand without (so far!) breaking the bank. I've been shopping around and had insurance quotes for mine down to about 350 - for 20k business miles, any more than 350 was for a major service.

Sounds like the engine note is well judged - I thought mine could be louder from inside, but it picks up well when you go for it and people I have overtaken have reported its pretty nice from outside! Better than some flappy nonsense, I have heard some Audis recently that just made weird farty noises, last night an S5 (V6SC) booted it when I was walking on a pavement and it just made a horrible 4-cylinder like farty sound.

The MPG - and tank size - sound familiar, as does the instant "requirement" status of additional FG! I have to say I've always fancied a HUD, it seems a great idea. Especially when you get to the age you need reading glasses, the screen is far enough away to still be crystal clear...
PG

Alf McQueef wrote:
The MPG - and tank size - sound familiar, as does the instant "requirement" status of additional FG! I have to say I've always fancied a HUD, it seems a great idea. Especially when you get to the age you need reading glasses, the screen is far enough away to still be crystal clear...


I now have to put my reading glasses on to change the stereo. Won't be long till I need them to see the speedo.....  You can tell cars are designed by young people. Otherwise all the buttons and digits would be way bigger.  
PR

That is mega, Jeff. I think I'd have wept if I'd clipped a kerb with one of those wheels.
Big Blue

PR wrote:
That is mega, Jeff. I think I'd have wept if I'd clipped a kerb with one of those wheels.


I couldn't bear to look ..... Quite a horrid experience  
Roadsterstu

That looks fantastic. Shame the look has to be ruined slightly with a yellow UK number plate.
Roadsterstu

I've just come back to have another look at the pics. I absolutely love that, BB. Big, discreet and very fast estates are pretty much my ideal car. As and when I land suitably sized chunk of cash, I'd have something just like that.
Giant

Roadsterstu wrote:
I've just come back to have another look at the pics. I absolutely love that, BB. Big, discreet and very fast estates are pretty much my ideal car. As and when I land suitably sized chunk of cash, I'd have something just like that.


+1, we need more photos!

I was thinking that an Alpina estate would be in my lottery win garage, but realised that it's actually a car for all occasions, a true MPV that covers pretty much all based on its own.
The standard of forum car has rocketed in the last year or so, including two XFRs..., two GT4s... The Gorilla... and anAstra 1.6D!
Chris M Wanted a V-10

Giant wrote:

The standard of forum car has rocketed in the last year or so, including two XFRs..., two GT4s... The Gorilla... and an Astra 1.6D!

Not forgetting at least 2 Fiesta Ecoboosts !

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