For the discerning BMW connoisseur comes the 2017 BMW Alpina B6 Gran Coupe, a four-door "coupe-like" sedan that exists on a level well above BMW's mainstream offerings or even its more high-performance M division offerings. The B6 transforms a more pedestrian 6 Series Gran Coupe with specific details and decorations, additional power, and the storied Alpina tuning house's name, yielding the almost stupendously beautiful B6 Alpina.
In general specification, the Alpina B6 Gran Coupe mimics the M division's M6 Gran Coupe. But the Alpina-tweaked, twin-turbocharged 4.4-liter V8 engine is rated at a full 600 horsepower, 40 more than the M6. The B6 Gran Coupe is one of the quickest production four-doors on Earth, BMW claiming a zero-to-60-mph time of 3.6 seconds. It's probably even quicker than that.
But it's not a simple matter of horsepower. The Alpina engine also produces massive torque — 590 pound-feet &mdash all delivered like a jet engine hung on Boeing 777. Fortunately the Alpina B6 is equipped with the BMW xDrive all-wheel-drive system, ensuring that all that thrust turns into forward motion and not just tire smoke.
An eight-speed automatic transmission and Alpina's own Switch-Tronic control is aboard to help execute lightning-fast manual shifts using the console-mounted shifter or paddles on the Alpina steering wheel.
The Alpina B6 distinguishes itself from other Gran Coupes with a unique front end, including a specific bumper cover just over an aerodynamic splitter to help keep the nose nailed to the pavement. Also available are exclusive paint options such as Alpina Blue and Alpina Green and special 20-spoke wheels. This isn't a cheap car, but every dime can be accounted for in visual impact.
Although the Alpina B6's best driver aid is the driver, it's not above using modern safety technology, including options such as Active Driving Assistant that includes lane departure warning and forward collision warning systems. The Executive package, meanwhile, adds heated rear seats, a heated steering wheel and a head-up display among other features. Night vision, carbon-fiber mirror caps, a Bang & Olufsen sound system and Apple CarPlay are all individual options.
No one buys the Alpina B6 Gran Coupe for its fuel economy, but at an EPA-rated 18 mpg combined (15 city/24 highway), the B6 is actually a bit thriftier than the M6 Gran Coupe with an automatic transmission.
Only a few Alpina B6 Gran Coupes will sneak into North America, and finding one may be a challenge. But use the tools on Edmunds and let us help you find the 2017 BMW Alpina B6 Gran Coupe of your dreams.
Edmunds attended a manufacturer-sponsored event, to which selected members of the press were invited, to facilitate this report.