2018 BMW Alpina B6 Gran Coupe

2018 BMW ALPINA B6 Gran Coupe Sedan Review

The Alpina B6 is a rare four-door coupe that offers a masterful blend of elegance and speed.
author
by Jonathan Elfalan
Edmunds Editor

Those familiar with BMW know the M performance division creates some scintillating cars. Fewer people will know where Alpina slots in with BMW, which only makes the 2018 BMW Alpina B6 Gran Coupe all that more intriguing.

Alpina's earlier success in racing and subsequent move to producing performance-enhanced BMW models eventually evolved into a long-term partnership with the marque as well as recognition as a manufacturer — and not simply a tuner — of vehicles. Currently only two Alpina models are available, one of them the 2018 B6 Gran Coupe.

You can think of the B6 as the ultimate expression of the 6 Series Gran Coupe with unique exterior styling differences, exclusive exterior paint options, Alpina-specific 20-inch wheels, unique interior material treatments, and upgrades to the engine, suspension and eight-speed automatic transmission. Thanks to the Alpina treatment, the B6's twin-turbo V8 powerplant produces 600 horsepower and 590 pound-feet of torque, eclipsing the numbers of the mighty M6 by 40 hp and 90 lb-ft of torque while returning significantly better fuel economy estimates to boot.

The Alpina B6 isn't as much of an attention magnet as some other offerings in this segment, but because of its rarity, you won't likely see another in your neighborhood or city.



what's new

Besides a minor reshuffling of package content and the option of Apple CarPlay, the 2018 BMW Alpina B6 Gran Coupe carries over without any major changes.

we recommend

The 2018 BMW Alpina B6 Gran Coupe comes very well equipped to start, so there isn't much to add. We like the suite of driving aids that comes with the Driving Assistance Plus package, and the Executive package is attractive mostly because of the heated and ventilated seats. Lastly, if you own an iPhone, opt for Apple CarPlay because the iDrive media navigation is somewhat lacking.

trim levels & features

The 2018 BMW Alpina B6 Gran Coupe is offered in a single, well-equipped trim with a handful of available packages and stand-alone options. It comes with a fire-breathing 4.4-liter twin-turbo V8 engine (600 hp, 590 lb-ft) paired to an Alpina-tuned eight-speed automatic transmission, sending power to all four wheels through a rear-biased all-wheel-drive system.

Standard equipment for the B6 includes 20-inch wheels with summer performance tires, Alpina-specific exterior styling details, an adaptive sport-tuned suspension, 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, and keyless ignition and entry.

Inside, you'll find four-zone automatic climate control, 16-way power-adjustable front seats (with four-way lumbar support, heating and memory settings), leather upholstery, a power tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, ambient lighting and a split-folding rear seat.

On the technology side, features include Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, a navigation system, voice controls, the newest iDrive 6.0 infotainment interface with a touchpad-equipped controller, wireless mobile phone charging (Qi standard), an onboard Wi-Fi hotspot with a complimentary 3 GB of data over three months, smartphone app integration, a 16-speaker Harman Kardon surround-sound system with a CD player, HD and satellite radio, and a USB port and an auxiliary audio jack.

There are three option packages for the Alpina B6. The Executive package adds 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 package includes BMW's Active Driving Assistant, a suite of active safety aids that bundles a frontal collision warning system with low-speed collision mitigation (and pedestrian detection) and lane departure warning. You can add onto this package with the Driver Assistance Plus package for a surround-view camera system, speed-limit information, a head-up display, blind-spot monitoring and adaptive cruise control system.

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 2018 BMW Alpina B6 include Apple CarPlay, a blind-spot monitoring system, a night-vision camera with pedestrian detection and a premium Bang & Olufsen sound system. All-season tires are a no-cost option.

trim tested

Edmunds has not yet driven any version of this vehicle, but we have limited experience with a preproduction model. The following is our first take on what's significant about it and what you can expect.

driving

BMW claims the Alpina B6 will accelerate from zero to 60 mph in a blistering yet effortless 3.6 seconds, which should improve just about any commute. Powerful brakes will keep all that speed in check, and an active suspension delivers both competent handling and excellent ride quality.

comfort

Four-zone climate control, a supple leather interior and heated 16-way power front seats with four-way lumbar support are sure to help deliver comfort for all aboard, even on longer drives. BMW does a good job insulating against cabin noise while an adaptive suspension can soften up on demand.

interior

The front seats are relatively low-set for a sporty feel with a good amount of space; the rear seats will accommodate adults but are more confining than those in traditional sedans. A low roofline creates an alluring silhouette, but it eats into headroom and head clearance with the rear passenger doors.

utility

Without the seats folded, there's just 13 cubic feet of cargo capacity within the B6's trunk to split between passenger luggage. Additionally, the trunk liftover is on the high side, so hoisting heavy bags into it can be a pain. A minimalist cabin design means small-item storage is a bit sparse.

technology

BMW's latest iDrive control interface is notable for its large 10.2-inch display, sharp graphics and fast processing times, but the latest menu structure is less intuitive to navigate. You'll want to devote time to familiarize yourself with all the various features before you hit the road.

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.

We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.