The Alpina B4 Coupe delivers a drive that could be comfortable or competitive, depending on your preference. By Kannan Chandran
For all the racy lines that have been stuck on its body to emphasise its chiseled frame, and the three-litre turbocharged inline six-cylinder engine that pushes out 301kW of power, the Alpina B4 Coupe doesn’t strut its stuff willingly.
Most souped up cars want to show off their capabilities by either being aggressive or enthusiastic without being called upon to deliver those characteristics. But the B4 Coupe, a re engineered BMW 4 Series, is first a comfortable ride with hand-stitched leather and quiet German efficiency.
Its original manifestation is already a fine machine, so any enhancements must be more than just about its performance. And so it is the B4 may have more power, but maximum torque kicks in only around 3,000rpm (the BMW 435i Coupe has 400Nm available from 1,200rpm) so you do have to be purposeful about getting everything cranked up really quickly.
Mind you, once you’ve heard the engine splutter to life, and start to crackle with bristling purpose, you do want to test its potential.
As you sit back in the accommodating leather seats and grip the generous steering wheel, everything you need is within reach on the multifunction steering wheel. Even the discreetly placed and camouflaged gear shifting which feels like little buttons (paddles might be better), but they do the job, especially when you downshift the eight-speed and the engine burbles along.
The B4 gets up to 100kmh in a swift and effortless four seconds or so. It gets to 200kmh faster than it takes some cars to get up to half that speed. Clearly, the potential is evident, especially since the top speed is just over 300kmh (You can dream about that on our well-surveilled roads.).
It’s once you get purposeful with the accelerator that you appreciate the burbling exhaust and the responsiveness as it lopes along undulating terrain. There isn’t any of that aggressive dashing about, but rather a refined display of pace and grace that you appreciate.
For all its positives, there are still areas that could be improved. The ride is a bit lurchy and bumpy on normal speeds at times. There are litlte squeaks that are evident in the background. A grab handle for backseat occupants to help them get out would be useful. And it certainly could do with a head up display, especially if you get into more spirited driving. And perhaps it’s time to update and contemporize the Alpina badge in the centre of the dashboard.
TECH SPECS ALPINA B4 COUPE
Engine: 6 Inline
Max Power: 301kW@5,500–6,250rpm
Max Torque: 600Nm@3,000–4,000rpm
Transmission: 8-speed Sport Automatic
0-100kmh: 4.2 seconds
Top Speed: 303kmh
Retail price: *$380,800
Please reconfirm price with dealer.