Used 2016 BMW ALPINA B6 Gran Coupe Review
Edmunds expert review
The 2016 BMW Alpina B6 Gran Coupe is a fusion of upgraded performance and styling enhancement for the 6 Series Gran Coupe that offers exclusivity beyond that offered even by BMW's own M models. The Alpina B6 is the connoisseur's BMW. Just be prepared to pay for having such refined automotive tastes.
What's new for 2016
Although BMW's lineup is flush with vehicles massaged by its high-performance M division, the price premium does not guarantee one thing greatly prized by luxury car buyers: exclusivity. If you're in the market for a Bavarian rocket sled that proclaims your dominance over the road and its inhabitants, you don't want to share a parking lot with three other identically equipped cars. Luckily, longtime BMW partner Alpina has a solution for you with the 2016 BMW Alpina B6 Gran Coupe.
One of the reasons why you don't see many Alpina B6 Gran Coupes on the road is the fact that you can't buy one off the dealer lot. This limited-production, made-to-order coupelike sedan begins its life at BMW's 6 Series factory and is finished at Alpina's nearby manufacturing facility. Differentiating the B6 Gran Coupe from the standard 6 Series and M6 are a different body kit, additional exterior paint schemes (including Alpina Blue and Alpina Green), Alpina-specific 20-spoke wheels, unique upholstery and upgrades to the transmission, suspension and engine.
Based on the BMW M6 Gran Coupe, the Alpina B6 features unique styling elements that give it a slightly different look.
Like the M6 Gran Coupe, the heart of the Alpina B6 is a turbocharged 4.4-liter V8. But the Alpina-tuned tuned motor produces 600 hp and 590 lb-ft of torque compared to the M6's 552 hp and 502 lb-ft. Specifying an M6 with the available Competition package narrows the horsepower gap, but torque ratings still fall behind the B6. The B6 comes standard with all-wheel drive as well, so it's not out of the question if you live in a cold weather climate.
If you are looking for an alternative to Alpina's coupelike sedan, there are several. The 2016 Mercedes-AMG CLS63 S features a 577-hp engine and flawless interior appointments. Then there's the 560-hp 2016 Audi RS 7, which sprints from zero to 60 mph in a couple ticks less than the B6, but we think it's the most visually stunning of the bunch. On the higher end, the 2016 Porsche Panamera is one of the best-handling cars of this group. And if you're willing to trade performance for the seductive burble of an Italian V8, you might consider the 2016 Maserati Quattroporte and Quattroporte GTS.
Trim levels & features
The 2016 BMW Alpina B6 Gran Coupe is a performance-oriented version of the 6 Series Gran Coupe, a four-door sedan with coupelike styling. It is offered in a single, well-equipped trim level.
Standard equipment for the 2016 Alpina B6 includes 20-inch alloy wheels with summer performance tires, an adaptive sport-tuned suspension, active roll stabilizers, adaptive LED headlights with automatic high beam control, LED foglights, automatic wipers, front and rear parking sensors, a rearview camera, power-folding and auto-dimming heated side mirrors, keyless ignition and entry, a cruise control system that brakes for road curves, a sunroof, quad-zone automatic climate control, heated 20-way power front seats (with four-way lumbar support and memory settings), leather upholstery, a leather-wrapped power tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, ambient lighting and a split-folding rear seat. Electronics features include Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, a navigation system, voice controls, the iDrive electronics interface with a touchpad-equipped controller, voice controls, smartphone app integration and a Harman Kardon 16-speaker sound system with a CD player, HD and satellite radio, a USB port and an auxiliary audio jack.
If you're looking for something radically different, the B6 isn't the sedan you want.
There are two option packages for the Alpina B6. The Executive package adds a head-up display, ventilated front seats with active bolsters, a heated steering wheel, heated rear seats, a power rear sunshade, manual rear window shades and ceramic-trimmed controls. The Driver Assistance Plus package features a side and top-view camera system, speed-limit information, a blind-spot monitor and BMW's "Active Driving Assistant," which includes a frontal collision warning system with low-speed collision mitigation (with pedestrian detection) and a lane-departure warning system. An adaptive cruise control system is optional with this package.
There are several choices of extra-cost leather upholstery and wood trim, and the B6's simulated suede headliner can be matched to the upholstery color. Notable stand-alone options for the 2016 BMW Alpina B6 include the Active Driving Assistant with adaptive cruise control, a night-vision system with pedestrian detection and a premium Bang & Olufsen sound system. All-season tires are a no-cost option.
With 600 horsepower and 590 pound-feet of torque, the twin-turbo V8 in the B6 is one of the most powerful engines on the road today.
Performance & mpg
The 2016 BMW Alpina B6 is powered by a 4.4-liter turbocharged V8 engine that develops 600 hp and 590 lb-ft of torque. An eight speed automatic transmission with Alpina's own software sends power to all four wheels through BMW's xDrive all-wheel-drive system. Fuel-saving automatic engine stop-start technology is standard.
BMW says the Alpina B6 will accelerate from zero to 60 mph in a markedly quick 3.6 seconds, which is a significant improvement over the M6 Gran Coupe's estimated time of 4.1 seconds.
EPA-estimated fuel economy of the Alpina B6 stands at a combined 18 mpg (15 city/24 highway), which is 2 mpg better than the M6.
The 2016 Alpina B6's list of standard safety equipment includes antilock brakes with advanced standby and drying features, traction and stability control, front-seat side airbags, front knee airbags and active front head restraints. Also standard are front and rear parking sensors, a rearview camera and the BMW Assist emergency communications system, which provides automatic crash notification, remote unlocking, stolen-vehicle recovery and on-demand roadside assistance.
The optional Driver Assistance Plus package features front-side and top-view cameras, speed-limit information, a blind spot monitor and BMW's "Active Driving Assistant," which bundles a lane-departure warning system with a frontal-collision warning and mitigation system with pedestrian detection.
There are various interior enhancements you can choose from to give the interior of your B6 a more styling look and feel.
You know your commute is going to be interesting any time you're piloting a vehicle with an engine that generates this much power. But the 600 hp relentlessly streaming from under the 2016 Alpina B6 Gran Coupe's far-reaching hood might play second fiddle to the exquisite balance of the B6's suspension.
More aggressive suspension damping is a key ingredient in the Alpina B6's magnificent cornering grip, but happily, this doesn't come at the expense of ride comfort. Some of the credit may go to Alpina engineers' relative restraint in using just 20-inch wheels, but the excellent ride characteristics can mostly be attributed to the careful calibration of the B6's standard adaptive damping system. And because it's driver-adjustable, if you encounter particularly rugged roads, you're able to dial up a softer setting to improve comfort.
Almost every interior surface of the 2016 Alpina B6 is trimmed with top-quality materials. The standard leather choices are luxurious, with even more sumptuous leathers as an extra-cost option. Special door sill plates and wood trim, elegant gauge faces with the Alpina logo and a dash plaque indicating a production number are the primary changes from the standard 6 Series Gran Coupe interior. The steering wheel (wrapped in unique, highly supple leather) is an Alpina-badged version of BMW's standard multifunction wheel, although the shift paddles have been replaced by buttons.
The best seat in the house is directly behind the steering wheel. The Gran Coupe is clearly driver-focused, which is to say it's great for front-seat occupants and acceptable for passengers. The standard multicontour front seats offer adjustments to the thigh support, side bolsters and upper back, making it easy to find the perfect seating position. The front seats are set somewhat low, perhaps to reinforce the notion of driving a coupe. Although the Alpina B6's rear seats are at least usable for adults, the backseat nonetheless is more confining than in BMW's 5 Series sedan, on which the Alpina B6 is based. Blame the low roof line and narrow-opening rear doors for the tight feeling.
The 2016 Alpina B6 uses BMW's iDrive control interface that manages entertainment, navigation and phone functions, as well as various vehicle settings. The system is notable for its sharp graphics, fast processing times and logical menu structure, but you'll want to devote time to study the various features before you hit the road. In general, it takes a few more clicks and whirls of the iDrive controller dial to get what you want compared with the interfaces in competitors. The iDrive control knob incorporates a touchpad by which you can draw letters and numerals with your finger on the controller's surface. The ceramic controls that come with the optional Executive package are magnificently dense and feel appropriately expensive.
With just 13.0 cubic feet of trunk capacity (unless you fold the rear seat), the Alpina B6 is best viewed as a traveling tool for two. The trunk lift-over is rather high, so hoisting heavy bags into it can be a pain.
Edmunds expert review process
This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.
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