ALPINA B5 (E60)

Monstrous torque and a bespoke feeling mark this out as a classy alternative to an M5…

Cost New £62,850 Price £27,995

T

he BMW M5 in E60 form was widely seen as one of the finest four-door saloons ever – even if it did have a reputation for expensively lunching itself.

The Alpina B5 took things in a different direction, replacing the V10 with a supercharged V8 and the troublesome SMG transmission with a conventional torque converter auto 'box. Despite the B5's ability to headbutt the horizon, the body of this one is largely free from blemishes, with just a few chips on the nose, the roof near the front screen and the driver's side rear door. There are a few minor marks on the passenger side doors too.

Those enormous and freshly refurbished 20in alloys are perfect, with plenty of tread left to play with on their Michelin Pilot Super Sport rubber.

The inside is also excellent. It's so much nicer in here than the equivalent M5, which can give off a company car vibe. The gorgeous leather chairs show only minor creasing, with only tiny surface nicks and scratches on the gorgeous wood rim. All the instruments light up as they should, with no error messages.The healthy paperwork file points to regular fettling at Sytner Nottingham, carried out pretty much every two years.

On the road, the Alpina is much more suited to the role of supersaloon than the M car. Its suspension is much more compliant, and on the whole it feels more cohesive. True, the steering lacks the race-car immediacy of its M Department brethren, but it's miles better than the equivalent AMG.

The ace up the Alpina's sleeve is power delivery. Where you have to thrash the M5, the Alpina's supercharged V8 punches you forward on a humungous wave of torque. The in-gear acceleration is genuinely shocking. The braking isn't as instant as the acceleration. It works as it should, but just be aware of the disparity before committing to an overtake...

We didn't experience any faults during our time with the car; it feels almost brand new.

You can pick up an E60 M5 for £10k these days, but you really shouldn't. The very best M5s are the same price as this Alpina, but the B5 is the better supersaloon. This car's condition makes it eminently worthy of a look, and its relative rarity bodes well for the future.

Alpina B5 (E60)

Year:     2007
Mileage:     54,700
On sale at:     Silverwood Cars
www.silverwoodcars.co.uk

Specifications
Engine:     4398cc, 8-cyl, DOHC
Transmission:     RWD, 5-speed auto
Power:     492bhp@5500rpm
Torque:     516lb-ft@4250rpm
Weight:     1720kg

Performance
0-60mph:    4.7sec
Top speed:     195mph
Economy:     20mpg

Choose your Alpina B5 (E60)

The Alpina B5 was launched in 2005 sporting a supercharged version of the 545i's 4.4-litre V8. The engine was rebuilt by Alpina, yielding 133lb-ft more torque than the E60 M5. The brakes came from a LWB 760Li: there were no bigger discs in the BMW parts bin. It did 0-100mph in 9.5 secs, with 125mph appearing 5 secs later. Just 118 UK cars built.

Alpina B5 S appears in 2008 with 30bhp more and revised suspension. Key to that was the introduction of ElectronIc Damper Control, which allowed for Normal and Sport settings.

A limited-slip differential was a £2500 option. 13 B5 S cars were registered in the UK.


Lewis PlumbBMW, Alpina, B5, E60