The History of Alpina and BMW
BMW has long worked with the brand Alpina to create the pinnacle of the Ultimate Driving Machine. First founded in 1965 by Burkard Bovensiepen who developed a Weber dual carburetor for the BMW 1500, BMW eventually certified and fitted the product to BMW vehicles with a full factory guarantee. But the truly astounding part? Aspen originally started up as a typewriter production group, while Burkard was tuning BMWs out back of the factory.
Nowadays, Alpina is all about their BMW customization, working as a company completely independent of BMW however permanently partnered with them, designing and customizing high-performance versions of BMW. Alpina and their production is so closely tied into BMW that the German Ministry of Transport has actually recognized Alpina as an automotive manufacturer, unlike pretty much any other automobile tuning specialist.
All Alpina vehicles are branded and built as Alpina vehicles, with the engine first being manu-factured by hand at the Alpina facility in Buchloe, Germany, which is then delivered to the BMW plant where the body and engine are put together. From there, the vehicle is then shipped back to the Alpina facility for an interior upgrade using Alpina’s leathers, optimization of the transmission, and application of the Alpina designed Switch-Tronic button shifter.
The Alpina lineup is known for their emphasis on luxury, higher torque and performance, and their unique styling with special colors, badging, and other options not typically available on BMW vehicles. Current models available include the Alpina XD3 and XD4, SAVs based off the X3 and X4 vehicles. Or the sedans including the multiple B4 variations, or the B5 and B6, built from the 4, 5, and 6 –Series. But for the true epitome, the Alpina B7 is the be all, end all of Alpina and BMW design.
Make sure to check in next month as we take a look at the Alpina B7 and what makes it such a unique vehicle from both Alpina and BMW!