Alpina’s ‘alternative BMW M5,’ the B5 Bi-Turbo, now makes 600 horsepower for 2016

2016 Alpina B5 front pair

Since 1965, Alpina has been crafting parts and specialized models based on BMW vehicles, and since 1983, the brand has been developing its own models based on some of Bavarian Motor Works’ best vehicles.

To differentiate itself from BMW’s own in-house tuning division, M, Alpina has always focused more on luxury and styling enhancements. That doesn’t mean Alpina vehicles are slouches on the road, but they always played second fiddle to BMW’s dedicated M products in terms of performance.

Now, however, it appears Alpina is creeping further onto M’s turf with its latest development, the 2016 Alpina B5 Bi-Turbo. While the standard BMW M5 makes 575 horsepower and 500 pound-feet of torque from a twin-turbocharged 4.4-liter V8, the Alpina dials that up to 600 hp and 591 lb-ft of twist. The same engine debuted in Alpina’s Edition 50 models from earlier this year.

Of course an M car has always been about more than an engine and undoubtedly BMW’s own creation will outmaneuver the B5’s more comfort-focused dynamics, but it would have a genuine straight-line challenge from the 2016 B5’s 0-to-60 mph sprint of 4.2 seconds and 204 mph top speed. You also cannot forget about BMW’s ‘30 Jahre Edition’ M5 with about the same power as Alpina’s B5, but it also costs $138,275.

To help keep its potent engine in check, the B5 is fitted with a sports suspension including electronically adjustable dampers and active roll stabilization. It also features a limited-slip differential, Merino leather upholstery for the seats, and piano black interior trim. For some extra cash, buyers can tack on a lightweight titanium exhaust system made by Akrapovic (cutting 37 lbs) and a beefier fixed-caliper brake system.

While not quite as expensive as BMW’s ‘30 Jahre Edition’ M5, the 2016 Alpina B5 Bi-Turbo will require of buyers a substantial sum: $115,200 for the sedan, and $118,700 for the Touring edition.